Masterpiece Comics

Overview

HILARIOUS PARODIES OF CLASSIC LITERATURE REIMAGINED WITH CLASSIC COMICS

Masterpiece Comics adapts a variety of classic literary works with the most iconic visual idioms of twentieth-century comics. Dense with exclamation marks and lurid colors, R. Sikoryak’s parodies remind us of the sensational excesses of the canon, or, if you prefer, of the economical expressiveness of classic comics from Batman to Garfield. In "Blond Eve,” Dagwood and Blondie are ejected from the Garden of ...

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Overview

HILARIOUS PARODIES OF CLASSIC LITERATURE REIMAGINED WITH CLASSIC COMICS

Masterpiece Comics adapts a variety of classic literary works with the most iconic visual idioms of twentieth-century comics. Dense with exclamation marks and lurid colors, R. Sikoryak’s parodies remind us of the sensational excesses of the canon, or, if you prefer, of the economical expressiveness of classic comics from Batman to Garfield. In "Blond Eve,” Dagwood and Blondie are ejected from the Garden of Eden into their archetypal suburban home; Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray is reimagined as a foppish Little Nemo; and Camus’s Stranger becomes a brooding, chain-smoking Golden Age Superman. Other source material includes Dante, Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, bubblegum wrappers, superhero comics, kid cartoons, and more.

Sikoryak’s classics have appeared in landmark anthologies such as RAW and Drawn & Quarterly, all of which are collected in Masterpiece Comics, along with brilliant new graphic literary satires. His drawings have appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, as well as in The New Yorker, The Onion, Mad, and Nickelodeon Magazine.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A provocative collision.” —Entertainment Weekly

“A brilliant parable about literature,history and what telling stories tells us about ourselves.” —Toronto Star

“Disconcerting and fascinating . . . A canny fusion of overlapping fictional legacies.” —The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

Publishers Weekly
This slim but densely sly volume collects, at long last, 20 years of Sikoryak's classic lit/classic comics mashups. Blondie and Dagwood act out Genesis in “Blonde Eve”; Garfield tempts Jon into a deal with the devil in “Mephistofield”; and Batman turns into Raskol for a reworking of “Crime and Punishment.” What could be simple parody in other hands is elevated to multileveled artistry by Sikoryak's uncanny ability to mimic the line of artists from Winsor McCay through Jack Davis to Charles Schulz. He goes far beyond mere imitation to eerily inhabit the artistic sensibilities of a dozen cartoonists; the result is as funny as it is impressive. These retellings linger on the philosophical underpinnings of such tales; coupled with the allusions and baggage of these familiar cartoon characters, the crossovers take on a life of their own to become legitimate adaptations. For instance, Little Pearl in “Red Letter Day” features Marjorie Henderson Buell/John Stanley's Little Lulu characters in a note for note retelling of Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, contrasting the grim Puritan narrative with the animated expressions of the Bueel/Stanley originals to cast the sin-obsessed settlers into even sharper relief. Readers who pick this up for the well-deserved laughter will get a bonus with the thoughtful metaphors. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
Gr 11 Up–The practice of retelling classic literature in comic-book form gets turned on its head in this entertaining mash-up. With a varied compilation featuring Blondie and Dagwood newly created and naked in the Garden of Eden, or a typically wry Garfield in the role of Mephistopheles, Sikoryak successfully merges the main themes and plot points with the artistic components unique to the individual comics. For instance, old school Superman’s square jaw perfectly conveys The Stranger’s nihilistic detachment, presented by the covers of “Action Camus” instead of “Action Comics.” Though each story’s impact depends on readers’ frame of reference with the material (teens might readily recognize the Macbeth plot but not the “Mary Worth” comic strip), the book provides a good entry point for discussing satire. Added details like Letters to the Editor, a drawing contest, and “advertisements” for a toy model of the Pequod complete the package, ensuring more than a few chuckles.–Joanna K. Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781897299845
  • Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 985,950
  • Product dimensions: 9.26 (w) x 12.34 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

R. Sikoryak is an animator, illustrator, and cartoonist living in New York with his wife. He is in the speakers program of the New York Council of the Humanities and teaches in the illustration department at Parsons School of Design.

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