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Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Hardcover – September 1, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mattotti and his longtime collaborator Kramsky return to the comix world with an interpretation of Robert Louis Stevenson's tale of gothic horror. While the story is set in Victorian England, Mattotti's artwork evokes the masterful expressionism of Berlin of the 1930s and such influences as Max Beckman, George Grosz and Giorgio de Chirico. Dr. Jekyll's obsession with the duality of the human personality-the good and evil that reside within-leads him to concoct the potion that brings out his purely evil side. Depicting this transformation, Mattotti's art becomes even more expressive, reminiscent of the later paintings of Francis Bacon. Jekyll's assertion that with his potion "Life would be relieved of all that is horrible" proves wrong. Indeed, he has distilled life's horrors in the person of the brutal Mr. Hyde, who haunts the nightclubs, parties, darkened streets and brothels of London, a perfect vehicle for Mattotti's masterful command of color, composition and mood. An accomplished colorist, Mattotti saturates the book's pages with a rich palette, and each panel is beautiful and expressive. Kramsky's adept condensation of Stevenson's book appropriates snatches of the original text verbatim, maintaining the power of Stevenson's prose while using a minimum amount of text. This is an impressive and vivid interpretation of Stevenson's timeless tale of the human spirit.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

The comic book has been a foremost medium of literary adaptation since the 1940s success of Classics Illustrated. Comics adaptations have been notably truer to their sources than their principal rival, the movies, though often less than graphically distinguished. Stevenson's great evil-doppelganger tale achieved its horrific effects by inference, but visual adaptations have made its violence explicit. Arnold L. Hicks' lurid expressionist cover for the first Classics Illustrated version of it provoked protest and was suppressed. Mattotti's virtuosic realization appears to have taken a cue from Hicks'. This is a visualization of intense colors, among which blood red predominates, deployed in the sweeping curves of dynamically drawn bodies, objects, and light effects. Faces and gestures recall the decadence-drenched caricatures of George Grosz, as do the settings on the evening streets and in the brothels and lower-class haunts of London. Odd angles of vision and psychologically resonant details deepen the aura of terror and corruption as they echo the paintings of Edvard Munch and the classic film of expressionist horror, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Despite updating the story from the 1880s to the 1920s, Mattotti makes every other Jekyll-and-Hyde visualization seem inadequate. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: NBM Publishing (September 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561633305
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561633302
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 9.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,750,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mary Saslow on August 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This was recommended to me by Todd Martinez at Comic Relief, the great comic bookstore in Berkeley CA.
Martinez knows his stuff; and so does Mattotti. I teach drawing and design to future technical directors and graphic designers. I want to add graphic novels to my collection in the classroom studio that emphasize strong graphic drama, drawing ability, idiosyncracy, character design, and cinematic framing and timing. Lorenzo Mattotti is a master of all of these. Every 2-page spread is integrated in color and sweeping angles and echoing, simplified forms. The color is vivid, and seems to be applied in layers of Prismacolor pencils or oil pastels. Look, this is X rated: it is, after all, about a guy who becomes a monster. It's the Expressionist art that attracts me. This book won an Eisner award.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the complete review as it appears (http://ianwoodnovellum.blogspot.com/2015/03/dr-jekyll-and-mr-hyde-adapted-by-jerry.html) at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV,

I have no idea what the heck Barnes and Noble thinks they're doing with this novel, but they have author Jerry Kramsky listed as himself and as the fictitious Jerry Kransky, and they have no artist listed! I wonder if the entry was written by the same guy who wrote the script for the movie My Cousin Vinny. Maybe we should call Jerry Callo and ask! or is it Gallo?

This is a large format graphic novel, about the size of two regular comic books laid side-by-side and rotated 90 degrees. There's nothing wrong with that, of course. Authors are entitled to present their titles (now that's how those two words should be used!) in whatever form they wish - especially in this age of ebooks, web comics, and self-publishing, so that wasn't a problem. It does explain why my blog doesn't have any full page samples like I normally include. The few panels I show are all that would fit the scanner window!

My problem with this work is that it simply wasn't appealing to me. The artwork is interesting in how it's done, but I didn't like it. I don't know what it was about it in particular. It was very colorful, but the style just turned me right off.

The story-telling wasn't very inspired, either. I mean it was the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as told in the 1886 novella written by Robert Louis Stevenson, but here it was uninspiring and the images often seemed at odds with the text.

I can't recommend this graphic novel. I feel I did a better take on it in the short story included in my own Poem y Granite.
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By Francisco Jose Santos on November 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mattotti is by far my favorite illustrator. I got in touch with his art in the 1980's ,and his connection to architecture and design is visible in his refined style.
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this title for my library's teen graphic novels collection on the strength of Publishers Weekly review. "Beautifully illustrated" indeed. Illustrated depictions of sado-masochism,prostitution and cannabalism. The editorials should have warned that this "interpretation" is for adults only!
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