Time for a nostalgia trip! The beloved young adult fantasy series Animorphs will morph into a graphic novel. Due for release in October, the comic book illustrated by Chris Grine will adapt the first book in the series The Invasion. Author K.A. Applegate took to Twitter to make the announcement on Wednesday.
“We are very excited by this opportunity to bring Animorphs to a new readership,” says Applegate. “Morph to your favorite battling beast and join the resistance to Yeerk domination!”
#Animorphs news: The graphic novelization of THE INVASION comes out Oct. 6. It’s a gorgeous, full-color adaptation by the talented @chrisgrine, and Michael and I are so excited to see the series come to life.
— Katherine Applegate (@kaaauthor) January 14, 2020
The Animorphs Graphic Novel Will Adapt The Original Books
The original Animorphs series ran from 1996-2001 and covered 54 books, along with 10 companion books. The series centers around a group of kids who find a dying alien from a race called the Andalite. This creature (whose name was Elfangor) gives the kids a blue cube that grants them the ability to morph into animals. He also gives them a mission, to fight against the alien Yeerks. These slug-like creatures can crawl into a person’s ear canal and control them by taking over their brains. It’s a little bit Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, but for kids!
The group consists of five kids who all have strong personalities. There is Jake, the leader of the group. Rachel, the warrior. Cassie, the pacifist. Marco, the comedic relief. And Tobias, the tragic outsider. As a kid, it was easy to identify with one or more of the main characters. Each book featured a different POV from one of the five. Despite the YA nature of the series, Animorphs dealt with a lot of heavy themes like grief; PTSD, questions of identity and morality, along with meditations on the horrors of war.
Art by Chris Grine | Image via Scholastic Graphix
Bringing Animorphs To A New Generation
Animorphs was a wildly popular series when I was a kid, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one whose friend group was obsessed with the series. Each book featured a nifty visual trick where if you flipped through the pages quickly, you could see the book’s protagonist morphing into an animal. It isn’t likely that the Animorphs graphic novel will have this feature, but one can hope.
At the height of its popularity, Animorphs spawned a short-lived television show that ran on Nickelodeon from 1998-2000. The show starred a pre-Iceman Shawn Ashmore, but only ran for two seasons. The Animorphs series has been out of print since 2012, but a graphic novel adaptation could introduce a new generation of readers to the books. Back in 2015, there were rumors that Universal was interested in launching a movie franchise based on the Animorphs series, but nothing ever came of it. Perhaps with renewed interest in the series due to the graphic novels, we might someday see the series adapted for screen again.
The first Animorphs graphic novel will be published by Scholastic Graphix in October 2020. Were you a fan of Animorphs as a kid? What do you think about the Animorphs graphic novel adaptation? Join the conversation with Comic Years today on Facebook and Twitter.
Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.