World Cup Winding Down, Reviews to Catch Up On, Tell-Tale Heart Beatin’ Up a Storm

While Comixpedia is in capable guest blogger hands I've been doing vacation trips, watching world cup futbol and doing the kind of work that actually pays money (not Comixpedia!).

Anyhow, I've gotten a few books in this year that I'd like to write something about. One I've got in my hands right now is a new edition in the Graphics Classics series – this one contains comic adaptations of Edgar Allen Poe stories. I never actually read the old "Classic Comic" adaptations but I imagine this is at least as good if not better.

The problem for me so far with it though is that most Edgar Allen Poe short stories are… literate. The pleasure in them, beyond the shock value some of them have on the initial read is the intense emotion the words invoke (and just the pleasure of reading a writer who not only largely created the "short story" but mastered it as well). And many of them, written in the first person, really draw you into a tightly drawn, vivid little world and for me the images here are for the most part not doing the trick (with some noted exceptions) of keeping up with the text-only versions I've already read. Â

The other thing is that most of the adaptations are very faithful to the original text. I think this reverence for the source material creates the same problem here that such reverence often creates for overly-faithful movie adaptation of beloved books. The over-use of the text – both the first person narrative and the vivid descriptive language – in the comic is also problematic. The whole point of adding a visual component in creating a comic adaptation should have led more of this roster of creators to economize on the words – dialogue should have sufficed in many instances.Â

For that reason one of my favorites from this collection is "King Pest" by Antonella Caputo, Anton Emdin and Glenn Smith. It has a the most cartoonish style of artwork in the book but it is also the most lively artwork in the book (other artists took much more stilted approaches to their portrayals). It also made much more use of comic's full set of visual tools to incorporating dialogue and other text into the comic. This was one of the few tales in the book where the creative team seems to understand that text in comics has as much to do with how you situate it in the panel as what the text says.

On the other hand you know this is Edgar Allen Poe Stories of gore, violence, fear, paranoia, and plain old edge of your seats creep-o-mania!! I feel like I should like it a lot more then I did on my first pass through it. So maybe I'll take another shot at reading it again and see if I can find more things to recommend about it.

Also I just bought 12" Remix of MARRS' Pump Up The Volume on iTunes. Put the needle on the record, indeed…Â


Xaviar Xerexes

Wandering webcomic ronin. Created Comixpedia (2002-2005) and ComixTalk (2006-2012; 2016-?). Made a lot of unfinished comics and novels.