Graphic Classics, Volume 1
Finished: Jul. 22, 2010
First Published: May 15, 2010
Publisher: Eureka Productions
Genre: graphic novel, short stories, poetry
Aquired: Received a review copy from the publisher.
Reason for Reading: I read the 3rd edition and was eager to see what the "greatly revised" 4th edition had to offer.
I was sick - sick unto death with the long agony of my imprisonment; and when they at length unbound me, and I was permitted to stand, I felt that my senses were leaving me.
An anthology of graphic adaptations of some of Edgar Allan Poe's works, both short stories and poems. Each story is written/illustrated by different people such as Rick Geary, Carlo Vegara, Matt Howarth and others resulting in a wide variety of artist styles throughout the book. Most of Poe's works collected here are his most famous but there are a few lesser known ones as well.
There are quite a lot of changes to this 4th edition with the removal of, mostly, the shorter lesser known works and the addition of a few poems but especially two major long works. First, but most importantly; all my favourites from the 3rd edition are still present. As I said in that review,
"My favourites were Rick Geary's retelling of "The Tell-Tale Heart" as I am fond of his work. I also enjoyed "The Imp of the Perverse" by Tom Pomplum and Lance Tooks which I had never heard of before. I also enjoyed Pedro Lopez' rendition of "The Cask of Amontillado" as that is one of my favourite Poe stories and the adaptation was well done."What has been removed are: King Pest, Eldorado (a poem), Spirits of the Dead (a poem), The Masque of Red Death, and Hop-Frog. The only one of these I deeply regret the removal of is The Masque of Red Death and to a much lesser degree Hop-Frog.
The additions are mostly very strong. The Black Cat returns after its removal from the 3rd edition. The two new long pieces are The Pit and the Pendulum and William Wilson. The Pit and the Pendulum is worth the price of admission. It has been incredibly rendered in all its eerie glory by David Hontiveros and Carlo Vergara. Another of my favourite stories that has been presented in a terrifyingly creepy and atmospheric manner. This one joins my favourites in the entire book. William Wilson is a strange story to begin with but the artwork is gorgeously detailed and atmospheric; I love the portrait of Poe on the wall in the last frame. Not one of my favourite stories but adapted to graphic form very well and certainly worth the removal of Hop-Frog. Also new to this addition are the poems In a Sequestered Churchyard Where Once Poe Walk'd by H.P. Lovecraft, and Annabel Lee. The Raven is not new but the illustrations have been redone by J.B. Bonivert and I have to say I am not pleased with them at all. I don't know what you call this type of art but it is plain weird (almost farcical to me) and totally distracts from the somber, eerie tone of the poem. On the other hand, Bonivert illustrates the new Annabel Lee and is much more successful using a fairy tale theme to the art that grows darker frame by frame.
If you already have a previous volume I think this one is well worth adding to your collection just for the addition of "The Pit and the Pendulum" alone. If you don't have this volume, what are you waiting for? This series is a great way to sample the author's work if you are unfamiliar with it and if you are a fan of Poe's it brings his work to another level by reading it in the graphic format.
October will be bringing Volume 19 of the series, entitled Christmas Classics which sounds exciting. I have visions of Dickens and The Birds' Christmas Carol. Guess I'll go see if they have a page up for it. Well, I was right about Dickens! It will also have O. Henry, Sherlock Holmes and Clement Moore (of, course! How could I not think of that!) In Colour. Check it out.