Graphic Classics, Vol. 20
Finished: Apr. 16, 2011
First Published: Mar. 1, 2011
Publisher: Eureka Productions
Genre: graphic novel, anthology, short stories, western
Out where the handclasp's a little stronger,
Out where the smile dwells a little longer,
That's where the West begins;
Acquired: Received a review copy from Eureka Press.
Reason for Reading: New book in the series.
Love, love, love this new volume! I'm a fan of Westerns but for some reason I just don't read them often. I have plans to; my bookshelves have plenty of books by the great western authors waiting for me to read; so I was thrilled to get my fix from this glorious graphic anthology.
The artwork is tremendous all around. Usually I call out a few not to my taste, but everything here is beautiful and fits the stories they illustrate wonderfully. I was particularly stricken with John Findley's realistic artwork and vivid use of colour in Willa Cather's "El Dorado" and the somewhat cartoon-style of George Sellas's work on Robert E. Howard's "Knife River Prodigal". The visual representation of the main character really makes that story come alive. This is a gorgeous book graphically, artistically, to look at.
The story choices were a perfect selection; I have to say I enjoyed each and every one, even the poem! and I'm not much of a poem person. The first third of the book is a retelling of Zane Grey's "Rider's of the Purple Sage". I've read exactly one book by Zane Grey, loved it and loved this story as well. It's an awesome story to start the collection off. Not having read the original I can't compare but it does make me want to read the original or just more Zane Grey. While I did enjoy every story, my other favourites included "Knife River Prodigal" as already mentioned, this is a humorous story, "The Right Eye of the Commander" by Bret Harte which brought some spookiness to the table and of course, Willa Cather's tragic tale of "El Dorado". A lovely book that takes great advantage of the new colour presentation of this series.
As an aside, I know the next two volumes, at least, are planned to be in colour as well, but I am very curious what theme/author they will chose to go back to the black/white format. As I am hoping they will go on to, at some point, switching back and forth between the two mediums as is, of course, appropriate to the theme of each volume.