Written By James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge
Art & Adaptation By Andy MacDonald
Humans are destroying the Earth at the cost of their fellow animals. Will the rest of the animal kingdom ever revolt? Biologist Jackson Oz certainly thinks so and his human-animal conflict (HAC) theory states that something is going to happen soon. What does the rest of humanity think of his theory? They laugh in his face, until wild and domestic animals turn on humans. The world turns upside down as they try to manage the conflict against nature. Against it all, Oz tries to raise a family and save the world, but it might be too late for humanity.
James Patterson has slapped his name on thriller novels for years, now he’s working his way into graphic novels. His young adult series Maximum Ride, Witch and Wizard, and Daniel X have already been adapted into graphic novels, so it was only a matter of time before one of his more mature titles made the transition. Graphic novel adaptations are a hit and miss, but Zoo survived. How was this great feat accomplished? It is attributed to James Patterson’s books being geared towards an action crowd. He writes for mass consumption with several ghostwriters (his partner on Zoo was Michale Ledwidge), so his books are already well outlined. All Andy MacDonald had to do was fan out the unnecessary details and rewrite it as a graphic novel.
The action is developed at a consistent pace, giving readers time to understand the characters and main premise. Things go ape crazy (literally) once the animals fall victim to the madness. The humans scramble trying to figure out the cause and Oz is pulled in as an expert source. Then the story time jumps to years later and it goes down hill from there. Some parts retain the build-up of the first half, but the plot keeps sliding down a basin that leads to a rushed ending.
The art really ties the entire book together. It’s black and white and MacDonald’s style harkens back to the old comic strip adventure serials. He, of course, is able to concentrate on better lines and textures that bear a real life quality
While Zoo succeeds as a graphic novel adaptation with good art, it doesn’t have a full resolution that leaves readers wondering what actually happened I nthe end.