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Wed, 2 May ’12

Comic Book Day: Getting Fresh Ink with Denise Mina

The Scottish scribe’s spin on Sweden’s Salander

DC Entertainment is giving comic book fans plenty of reasons to be excited with events like Before Watchmen and the New 52 Second Wave, but you may already know the title for which we’re most excited: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. But, who could DC turn to in order to put a fresh spin on a title we’ve seen adapted so recently? With a series of bestselling mystery thrillers and 13 issues of Hellblazer under her belt, Scottish scribe Denise Mina was a natural choice to pen the hotly anticipated adaptation. We caught up with the lovely Ms. Mina during a rare U.S. appearance to talk about keeping the story fresh, the adaptation process and some young hotshot named Stephen King.

Nerdist News:  With a title like Girl with the Dragon Tattoowhich has been adapted and interpreted so many times and so recently, how do you go about adapting that to a graphic novel and keeping it fresh?

Denise Mina: 
Well, I think the thing about comics is, for me, I know for a lot of people they’re like movies that don’t move. For me they’re a completely different form  I think it’s a perfect story for that form. You know, one of the things about the first book that’s really startling is the sexual violence and in something like a comic you can use all the visual imagery of pornography for the guy and not for the woman and that makes it very startling. And I think also having two distinct narratives that can join and separate again – there really are two main characters in it, one slightly more compelling than the other – I think that works really well for comics because they are an episodic form. 

NN: As a novelist, which do you find is more challenging: writing a novel or a graphic novel?

They’re completely different things; you can’t compare them. It actually feels as though your brain is working in a different way. Alan Grant says that when you write a comic, you’re using both sides of your brain and I think that’s really true. It’s a different physical process. Comics are more fun for me because I’ve done fewer of them.

Be sure to read our full interview with Denise Mina. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo debuts in November from DC’s Vertigo imprint, but you can get a preview on May 5th as part of Free Comic Book Day.