Frankenstein, Moby-Dick, Les Misérables, Great Expectations, Middlemarch, Anna Karenina, Crime and Punishment (a hallucinatory take on the pivotal murder scene), Thoreau’s Walden (in spare line art by John Porcellino of King-Cat Comics fame), “The Drunken Boat” by Rimbaud, Leaves of Grass by Whitman, and two of Emily Dickinson’s greatest poems are all present and accounted for. John Coulthart has created ten magnificent full-page collages that tell the story of The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. And Pride and Prejudice has never looked this splendiferous!
This volume is a special treat for Lewis Carroll fans. Dame Darcy puts her unmistakable stamp on—what else?—the Alice books in a new 16-page tour-de-force, while a dozen other artists present their versions of the most famous characters and moments from Wonderland. There’s also a gorgeous silhouetted telling of “Jabberwocky,” and Mahendra’s Singh’s surrealistic take on “The Hunting of the Snark.”
Curveballs in this volume include fairy tales illustrated by the untameable S. Clay Wilson, a fiery speech from freed slave Frederick Douglass (rendered in stark black and white by Seth Tobocman), a letter on reincarnation from Flaubert, the Victorian erotic classic Venus in Furs, the drug classic The Hasheesh Eater, and silk-screened illustrations for the ghastly children’s classic Der Struwwelpeter. Among many other canonical works.
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What People are Saying About This
"As with the previous volume, this collection has a wide array of applications for cultural scholars and historians (art and otherwise), but proves most powerful in its tear-inducing panoply of graphic talents and styles working in the comics medium."
— Jesse Karp, Booklist
"By turns playful and beautiful, this visual treatment is more than entertainment; it offers a new perspective for understanding these enduring works [of the nineteenth century]."
"The tome is the best thing in literary comics since Kate Beaton’s Hark! A Vagrant and a fine complement to the best graphic nonfiction of the past few years."
— Maria Popova, Brain Pickings
"Russ Kick, the man who's curating this tripartite series, must be some saint of artist-wrangling abilities, some theme-embodying savant . . . Dame Darcy's 16 pages of excerpts from Alice in Wonderland in this book might be worth the price of ownership all by itself."
"The majority of the work featured in Volume 2 of The Graphic Canon exceeds expectations for how it absorbs familiar texts and shapes new lives into them, reminding readers how words read in a book can color so much of life that exists far beyond the page."
“This prodigious and astounding collection of literary adaptations is staggering in its ambition, but even more so in its execution and realization.”
— The Miami Herald