Graphic Classics, Volume 16: Oscar Wildeby Alex Burrows, Antonella Caputo, Rich Rainey
Graphic Classics: Oscar Wilde features "The Picture of Dorian Gray", Wilde's tale of narcissism and horror, adapted for comics by Alex Burrows and illustrated by Lisa K. Weber. Plus the comic satire "The Canterville Ghost" by Antonella Caputo and Nick Miller, "Lord Arthur Savile's Crime" by Rich Rainey and Rich Tommaso, and an adaptation of Wilde's exotic play "Salome", illustrated by Molly Kiely.
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Besides the works of the subtitle, Lord Saville's Crime is another work illustrated plus one page from Wilde's The Ballad of Reading Gaol. The works are like graphic novels in black-and-white by topnotch illustrators with impressive credits. Stephen Silver, for example, has done work for Warner Brothers, Disney, and Nickelodeon. Lisa Weber, for Cricket Magazine and Children's Television Workshop; and she's got a series of young readers books called The Sisters coming out soon. Stan Shaw has illustrated for magazines, websites, and TV networks. Some of the illustrators have had art work in previous editions of Graphic Classics. The testament of the skill of the artists in this field of illustrated literature is that their work holds up over the 30 or so pages of the different Oscar Wilde works. They use all of the dramatic and visual techniques of this popular contemporary illustration--different size frames, shifts in perspective from detail to panorama, shifts in type styles, etc. They obviously worked hand-in-hand with the ones (presumably a writer or editor) who credited as adapting the Wilde story. So the four illustrated and adapted stories are instructive for other illustrators and artists and entertaining for all.
In the sixteenth volume of Graphic Classics, we are given some famous works of Oscar Wilde in a comic format. Starting with The Picture of Dorian Gray, they take a classic novel and break it down to its basic parts. While some of it might be a bit confusing for those not familiar with the actual book, it was still done very well. The illustrations were amazing, especially the difference in Dorian the man and Dorian the portrait, as you can see on the book's cover. Next up, we have the short story The Canterville Ghost, which was a personal favorite. The story was funny and nicely told in the format. It definitely made me wish to go and read the actual story, as well, which I think is a plus if these graphic novels can do that for other readers. The third story was Lord Arthur Saville's Crime, which, again, was amusing in that classic Oscar Wilde way. The drawings for this story perfectly fit the narration, as it's a lot more dark. Finally, this book ends with Salome, which was probably my least favorite out of the entire book. This is in no way because of the writing or art, but rather, the storyline in general didn't interest me as much as the rest. One of my favorite parts was the page where Salome dances. The artist took the various moves and poses and lumps them all together in a way that turned out amazing. I definitely think they were correct in using this for the end of the book, which made the set-up of all the stories nicely done. Overall, OSCAR WILDE was an immense pleasure to read. The writers and artists took a hard task and did it well. I'm a fan of Oscar Wilde myself, though I haven't read much by him as of yet. I believe that this book will be welcome in the homes of new and old fans, as it gives you a first peek into some of Wilde's famous plays and stories, as well as showing them in a new, modern way. By the time I was finished reading, I couldn't wait to read more by Wilde, as well as more Graphic Classics.