B.C.-born author Kenneth Oppel debuted a new graphic novel based on his Silverwing children's book series on its 25th anniversary, which he's celebrating with a book tour in Vancouver and Victoria.
The series follows the adventures of a young bat named Shade who embarks on a journey to return home after becoming separated from his colony during a dangerous winter migration. It has sold over a million copies worldwide since it was published in 1997, and spawned three sequels.
It has also been adapted into an animated TV series and a stage play.
Oppel, who was raised in Vancouver Island and now lives in Toronto, is celebrating the series' anniversary and the graphic novel's release with classroom visits in Vancouver and Victoria next week.
"Shade came from that well-loved tradition of the underdog, the runt," said Oppel, describing the main character as obnoxious at times, but with lots of zeal and determination.
Silverwing: The Graphic Novel is illustrated by Christopher Steininger, depicted in the illustration on the right, and written by Kenneth Oppel. (Christopher Steininger)
Oppel says he is excited to re-create his book in a more visual format. The graphic novel, published a month ago in September, was done in collaboration with Saskatchewan-based illustrator Christopher Steininger.
The graphic novel mirrors the first book in the Silverwing series.
"That was a real appeal to me, just to see how this bat world, this nocturnal world, could be rendered in full technicolour," said Oppel.
He looks forward to sharing Shade's adventures with a new generation of children.
"Kids are the most enthusiastic of any audience you could hope for," said Oppel.
"You will never have an experience with books as intense as the one you had with those beloved books of your youth."