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M: Book Two (of 4) Paperback – April 1, 1991


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Paperback, April 1, 1991
$4.91 $2.00
Unknown Binding, Import
"Please retry"
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Eclipse Books; 1st edition (April 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156060056X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560600565
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 7 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,925,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Long before Criterion DVDs or the Independent Film Channel—which is to say, in 1990—painter Muth adapted Fritz Lang's classic serial killer tale M into a four-part comics miniseries. He hewed closely to Lang's original German script, employing a painterly, photorealistic style that evoked the grainy, tinted footage of early talkies. The result, more influential than popular in an era of rampant speculation and chromium covers, was undeniably gorgeous. Eighteen years later, after popular artists like Alex Ross have cited Muth as a major influence, Abrams has re-released M as a hardcover graphic novel, and the deluxe treatment only adds luster to the project. Lang's story—an unidentified serial killer stalks children in a small German city—is simple but compelling, allowing Muth's masterful technique to shine through. The watercolors are primarily sepia-toned, with occasional splashes of color for emphasis, giving the project a surreal, dreamlike quality that serves to heighten suspense. Muth's layouts are excellent, creating mise-en-scènes that evoke Lang without copying him, and his figures' acting (body language and facial expressions) also serves both story and mood. An informative afterword lets readers hear from Muth about technique and why he would even try to remake Lang: to see what he could learn. Readers will find it an impressive lesson. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Jon J Muth’s watercolor art has been called “quietly life-changing” by the New York Times. He is the author and artist of The Three Questions and the bestselling picture book Zen Shorts, as well as A Family of Poems by Caroline Kennedy, which was a national bestseller. Other works include the graphic novel Moonshadow, and the recently published A Family Christmas. He lives in New York.







--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author


In 1999 Mr. Muth started what has been over a decade in children's books. He has received numerous awards and critical acclaim and worked with many talented people. He is the author and illustrator of "Zen Shorts" a Caldecott Honor book, which Kirkus Review described as "Every word and image comes to make as perfect a picture book as can be". He is the illustrator of the anthology, "A Family of Poems", with Caroline Kennedy. His book "The Three Questions" has been described as "quietly life-changing" by The New York Times.

Muth worked for over twenty years in comics and graphic novels; culminating in the industry's highest honor, an Eisner Award for "The Mystery Play".

In an interview with the Paris Review, E.B. White once said, "You don't write down for children. You write up." Muth wholeheartedly agrees. "Children are completely capable of intuiting wisdom as readily as adults are... they just may not have the ability to put it into words ... [but] they get this stuff very quickly. Even the kids who come to the book (Zen Shorts) because it has a giant panda tend to come back because there's some itch that's created -- in their minds or in their hearts -- to re-examine what's going on."

Mr. Muth has had a life long interest in Asian Studies, including tai chi chuan, sumi ink drawing and chado, "the way of tea". His work has been translated into more than a dozen languages and he lives with his wife Bonnie and their four children in New York.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
It continues to entertain and mesmerize readers as well.
Bookreporter
That Muth is able to carry this off without stepping on the toes of the original film is a testament to his larger-than-life abilities as an artist.
GraphicNovelReporter.com
I was a fan of his ever since I read Moonshadow so I just had to check it out.
David E

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tim Janson HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is a hard cover graphic adaptation of the 1931 film "M". This is a film that I saw for the first time just a few years ago. As a fan of classic horror films of the 1930s and 40s, I was attracted to the film because of its young star, Peter Lorre, and the director Fritz Lang. Land is best know for his groundbreaking 1927 silent film "Metropolis" which is still influencing filmmakers some 80 years later. The series was originally published back in 1990 by defunct Eclipse Comics. Long out of print, the series has now been collected in hardcover format by Abrams Books. The fact that it's being put out by a major book publisher as opposed to a comic publisher should tell you a bit about the quality and literary value of the story.

The story is based upon the actual crimes of Peter Kurten, dubbed the "Vampire of Düsseldorf" who committed a number of murders and sex crimes in Germany in the late 1920s. In "M" a child killer is on the loose in Berlin, having already murdered several children. The shadowy killer makes his presence known by the haunting melody he whistles as he claims a new victim. The people are in a panic, demanding the police catch the maniac. Like Jack the Ripper, the killer taunts the law enforcement's inability to stop him with letters to the newspapers. Even with police flooding the streets they are unable to find any clues.

This is when the Berlin criminal underworld decides to take matters into their own hands. The killer is bad for their illicit businesses as the police raids have become more frequent and some even blame the murders on organized crime members. They make a pact to use all of their resources to track down the fiend before he can kill again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on September 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
All these decades later, Fritz Lang's METROPOLIS overshadows M in terms of fame and legacy. But M, the story of a serial killer who hunts children, is such a dark, macabre classic that even Lang considered it his best film. It's a seminal work, one of the most amazing accomplishments in cinema.

It was nearly 20 years ago that Jon J Muth, a writer and illustrator of children's books and comic books, decided to create a graphic series based on M. Muth's work back then remains as vital, impressive and simply awe-inspiring now, especially since it has just been re-released in a gorgeous hardcover format, which also includes an informative introduction and afterword that provide useful insights into the creative process behind the work.

Muth gathered together friends, family and acquaintances to pose for photos that reenacted Lang's film. But this is no shot-by-shot, frame-by-frame recreation. Instead, Muth changes points of view and perspective to create a new experience, something far removed from its source material yet so lovingly inspired by it that it maintains respect at all times.

Muth then took those photos and made drawings from them. His afterword explains the process, which involves silverpoint, graphite and charcoal, the effect of which is so stunning, so lush, that it's clear how much of an influence Muth's work here has had on generations of artists who followed in his footsteps. Reading M has the bizarre effect of feeling like you're looking at a series of old photographs, stepping back in time and experiencing a long-ago past first-hand.

And M is thrilling. The story is frightening and thrilling on its own, with its terrifying notion of a serial killer who targets children.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By W.O'Toole on April 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
With this version of "M," Jon J. Muth updates the visual of Fritz Lang's classic screen play. The story is told through Muth's stunning photo-realistic charcoal sketches, that mold Lang's cinematic tale to fit perfectly into a graphic novel format. "M" is yet another example of the heights to which visual and verbal storytelling can soar.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By GraphicNovelReporter.com on November 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
All these decades later, Fritz Lang's Metropolis overshadows M in terms of fame and legacy. But M, the story of a serial killer who hunts children, is such a dark, macabre classic that even Lang considered it his best film. It's a seminal work, one of the most amazing accomplishments in cinema.

It was nearly 20 years ago that Jon J Muth, a writer and illustrator of children's books and comic books, decided to create a graphic series based on M. Muth's work back then remains as vital, impressive and simply awe-inspiring now, especially since it has just been rereleased in a gorgeous hardcover format, which also includes an informative introduction and afterword that provide useful insights into the creative process behind the work.

Muth gathered together friends, family and acquaintances to pose for photos that reenacted Lang's film. But this is no shot-by-shot, frame-by-frame recreation. Instead, Muth changes points of view and perspective to create a new experience, something far removed from its source material yet so lovingly inspired by it that it maintains respect at all times.

Muth then took those photos and made drawings from them. His afterword explains the process, which involves silverpoint, graphite and charcoal, the effect of which is so stunning, so lush, that it's clear how much of an influence Muth's work here has had on generations of artists who followed in his footsteps. Reading M has the bizarre effect of feeling like you're looking at a series of old photographs, stepping back in time and experiencing a long-ago past first-hand.

And M is thrilling. The story is frightening on its own, with its terrifying notion of a serial killer who targets children.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
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