Medium-conscious, self-standing literariness for diverse audiences in graphic novel adaptations of Alki Zei’s young adult novels

  • Evangelia Moula Humanities, Secondary Education; Hellenic Open University
  • Konstantinos Malafantis Education and Literature, National and Kapodistrian University; Hellenic Educational Society
Ariticle ID: 243
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Keywords: children’s literature, graphic novels, genre-specific literariness, adaptation, implied readership


This paper aims to critically comment on two adaptations of literary works by the internationally recognized Greek author, Alki Zei, in graphic novels. The works under discussion are Peter’s Great Walk and Wildcat Under Glass. At first and as a prerequisite for understanding the proposed approach, the role of storytelling in today’s media-dependent world is discussed. This is followed by a brief reference to the relationship of literature to the graphic novel genre, and to the notion of cognitive complexity as central to the “literariness” of a graphic adaptation. The interpretative toolkit to be used for the analysis of the texts is then delivered and the works under consideration are briefly presented. In the main part of the analysis, more criteria of graphic novels’ literariness are introduced. A key criterion of the self-contained literary quality of the adaptations is graphitization, as it fruitfully intersects and cross-fertilizes the visual style with the heroes’ characterization and the prevailing mood of the story. “Iconic solidarity” and focalization are used in the same direction. Graphic counterparts of literary expressions or Figurative language are also sought and the “authentication” index of adaptations is examined as an indication of the intended readership. In conclusion, it is perceived that both adaptations, although staying true to their sources, meet the conditions of a genre-specific literariness, but also differ in the degree of cognitive complexity, to the point of addressing different reading audiences.


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How to Cite
Moula, E., & Malafantis, K. (2024). Medium-conscious, self-standing literariness for diverse audiences in graphic novel adaptations of Alki Zei’s young adult novels. Literature Forum, 1(1). Retrieved from
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