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The Graphic Canon, Vol. 2: From "Kubla Khan" to the Bronte Sisters to The Picture of Dorian Gray Paperback – October 2, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1609803780 ISBN-10: 1609803787

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The Graphic Canon, Vol. 2: From "Kubla Khan" to the Bronte Sisters to The Picture of Dorian Gray + The Graphic Canon, Vol. 1: From the Epic of Gilgamesh to Shakespeare to Dangerous Liaisons + The Graphic Canon, Vol. 3: From Heart of Darkness to Hemingway to Infinite Jest
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Product Details

  • Series: The Graphic Canon
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609803787
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609803780
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.3 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Comprising original graphic versions of classic literature, from Coleridge's Kubla Khan to Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, this is the second volume of a must-have anthology for those who wish to lose themselves utterly in visual narrative adaptations of the works of the Western canon. Featuring spectacular graphic adaptations of some of the 19th century's most famous works, contributors include Maxon Crumb, John Porcellino, and Megan Kelso. Each selection is prefaced with a short introduction to provide context, and a rationale is included for the marriage of a particular writer with a particular artist. And editor Kick certainly gets it right. Porcellino's simple drawings are perfect for Thoreau's Walden. Eran Cantrell's silhouetted illustrations for Carroll's Jabberwocky are positively stunning. And what PMurphy does with Wordsworth's I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud is marvelously original. Apart from containing insightful introductions and wonderful artwork, these selections have a not-to-be-underestimated pedagogical value that educators will no doubt find invaluable in bringing classic works of literature to a 21st-century audience immersed in visual culture. (Oct.)

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Where the first volume of Kick’s grandly ambitious effort collected thousands of years of world literature, this volume confines itself to the nineteenth century. This affords the opportunity to closely examine the currents that washed through that 100-year span, and also to scour some of its nooks and crannies. Brontës and Shelleys, Hawthorne, Melville, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and Twain all show up, naturally enough. But so does a heaping helping of poetry as well as the epoch-shattering nonfiction of, for example, Darwin and Nietzsche, along with wonderful surprises like Der Struwwelpeter (with a ghastly new interpretation of the Scissorman). The macabre makes a particularly strong showing—with the likes of Poe, the Brothers Grimm, Dr. Jekyll, and Dorian Gray—as does Alices Adventures in Wonderland, honored with a gallery showcasing an extraordinary selection of comics visionaries. The range of interpretive styles is too vast to encompass here, ranging as it does from William Blake to Gris Grimly. It must suffice that, 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

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lady Stardust on October 5, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
LOVE this book. Bought this in an attempt to introduce my preteen brother to Keats and Tolstoy, but I might end up keeping this for myself.

The illustrations are AMAZING. Some of my current favorites are the ones for Ambrose Bierce's An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (watercolors, I think. Really beautiful and colorful) and Herman Melville's Moby Dick (surreal, geometric). Some of the artistic interpretations of the works are really interesting (i.e. William Wordsworth's I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud) as well.

The illustrations are varied enough that I think everyone would be able to find something they really like. If you are in any way an Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Fan, there is an entire section devoted to Alice Art!

Overall, highly recommended. I look forward to the release of volume 3!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. Constable on February 13, 2013
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I wondered how they would possibly get all of these stories into one book, but they are indeed there. A variety of styles of illustration keeps it from getting redundant. It is fun to pick it up, read a quick story and then move onto something else. Quite an enjoyable read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Vinayak Varma on January 31, 2013
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...but still worth buying. The artwork in this volume isn't as good as the art in the first volume, but the editorial notes and the choice of material make reading this book a compelling and enriching experience.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stephen on February 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
Another excellent book from Russ Kick!! I believe this book more extraordinary than the last. I love the combination of literature and art and how he is rolling along the great works of our past!! I enjoyed this book just as much as the first. I can't wait for the next one to come out. My whole family has enjoyed these works.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chris Clukey on October 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
In my review of the first volume of this series, I said the story of it was a story of soaring success and dismal failure. This volume is much the same, though there are fewer failures and the valleys are not so low as before. I had expected this volume would not be quite as entertaining to me personally as the previous one (I've always been personally fascinated more with ancient literature than 19th Century lit) but I was pleasantly surprised.

Most of the art is, again, stunning, such as the gorgeous illustrations of Kubla Khan, Frankenstein, Jabberwocky and The Picture of Dorian Gray, just to name a few. Almost everything in the Alice in Wonderland gallery is breathtaking. Other works are not breathtaking, but interesting and well-suited to the literary piece they represent; the treatment of Walden is a perfect, charming example of this. But some works are just plain ugly. Art that is ugly is often good art, but in these cases the grotesque nature of the illustrations seems to do nothing except...well, sit there and be grotesque. In at least one other case, the illustration work is perfect, but then silly political extremism ruins the entire impact. I literally laughed out loud when I reached the panels where Seth Tobocman, in illustrating the words of Frederick Douglass, portrays the well-fed, unthinkingly violent, ineffective and intellectually bankrupt vandals of the anarchist black bloc as the heirs of Douglass' abolitionism.

The problems with story choice that occurred in the first volume are not nearly as common here, though a full treatment of any number of 19th Century works (such as a second Dickens work, Madame Bovary, even Uncle Tom's Cabin) could have replaced Venus in Furs or either of the opium fantasy works included here.
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