242. Adventure Classics (Graphic Classics Vol. 12)

Adventure Classics edited by Tom Pomplun (US) - (Canada)
Graphic Classics, Vol. 12

Pages: 144
Ages: 12+
Finished: Sep. 5, 2012
First Published: 2005
Publisher: Eureka Productions
Genre: graphic novel, YA, short stories, anthologies
Rating: 4/5

First sentence: "Conor wrote to me three times before the end from the camp at Deir-el-Bahari..."

Publisher's Summary:  "Adventure Classics is the second multi-author anthology in the Graphic Classics series. The book presents thirteen stories and poems of danger, horror, comedy and romance; all told in new comics adaptations. Included are "The Valley of the Sorceress" by "Fu Manchu" author Sax Rohmer, "The Masked Ball" by Alexandre Dumas, and "Tigre" by Zane Grey. Plus a classic war story by Damon Runyon, a saga of Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini, and a noir crime tale by "Zorro" author Johnston McCulley. Also more stories from O. Henry, Rudyard Kipling, Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert W. Service, Edith Nesbit, Robert Louis Stevenson and Fitz-James O'Brien, as illustrated by Hunt Emerson, Michael Manning, Mary Fleener, Don Marquez, Mark A. Nelson and more great contemporary artists. With a dramatic cover painting by Chris Moore."

Acquired:  Borrowed a copy from my local library.

Reason for Reading:  I'm working on reading the complete series.

Adventure Classics didn't turn out to be one of my favourite volumes in this series but still it is an exciting read and a fantastic collection of obscure tales from classic authors of the past.  The theme is a bit vague here.  What exactly is an "adventure"?  Easily enough to define, we have the stories of pirates, the wild west, the arctic gold rush, and tales of war but a few others are on the fence as to whether they are "adventures" or not: magic in the desert, love in the jungle, a haunted house story.  Nevertheless, a unique blend of stories provides an interesting mix of styles and some stand out more than others.  The piece de resistance for me was to see one of my favourite poems done in the graphic format "The Shooting of Dan McGrew".  While I'd heard of most of the authors represented here I'll have to say other than "Gunga Din", another all-time favourite poem, all the other titles were new to me, which was refreshing.  My favourite stories were E. Nesbit's "The Mystery of the Semi-Detached", McCulley's "Stolen Story" and Runyan's "Two Men Named Collins".  Usually I find several I don't get or like but this time there is only Fitz-James O'Brien's "The Man Without a Shadow" which is so short and then drawn in a humorous style that I'm not sure I get it beyond a farce.  I enjoyed all the other re-tellings, though wishing they hadn't left out some middle verses of "Gunga Din".  And was visually pleased with all the art except J.B. Bonivert's illustration of "Valley of the Sorceress".  I believe I've not appreciated his work before.  Here, all his characters have muscular male bodies, with manly stances, including the women, who are drawn the same way with breasts and are rather disconcerting.  Reading this book has done two things for me. 1) I've read a few of E.Nesbit's ghost stories; now I'd love to find and read a collection of them. 2) I'd like to re-watch {again} one of my all-time favourite movies ever "Gunga Din" with Cary Grant.


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