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The Graphic Canon, Vol. 1: From the Epic of Gilgamesh to Shakespeare to Dangerous Liaisons (The Graphic Canon Series) Paperback – May 22, 2012
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
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Read more: http://www.rd.com/slideshows/graphic-novels-for-adults/#ixzz32HtWca8W
“Through the reprinted and newly-produced work of 59 (mainly American) adapters and 58 adapted titles, this is not only a survey of the world’s diverse artistic past, but also a breathtaking glimpse of this young medium’s incredible future.”
—Booklist, starred review
“The graphic publishing literary event of the year.”
“This meaty slab is laced with more wit, beauty, social commentary and shock than one might expect. . . If artists, as British sculptor Anish Kapoor famously said, make mythologies, then this volume is genuinely a marriage of equals.”
“The Graphic Canon is absolutely the most ambitious book I've picked up this year.”
“The Western literary canon has long been debated and criticized by academics, and rightly so. Which books belong and which don't? Now The Graphic Canon, a three-volume series edited by Russ Kick which presents classic lit as comic strips, adds a bit more fuel to the intellectual fires.”
—Steven Heller, The Atlantic
“These are 500 pages that contain more intelligence, wit, and savvy social commentary than anything else I have read in a long time. It is an amazing work. It is wild. It is dirty at times. It is nothing short of beautiful.”
—New Straits Times
“The diversity and excellence of this volume is just about overwhelming.”
—The Austin Chronicle
“Looks like a must-buy for all academic libraries, many public libraries, and many high schools, and an exciting new benchmark for comics!"
—Martha Cornog, Library Journal
"This is a masterpiece of literary choices as well as art and interpretation. It is a perfect graduation or summer-reading present, and the solid editing, including introductory notes for each piece, makes it a required purchase for any library."
—School Library Journal
“It takes time to read this book, but it is a book worth taking time over [...] Robert Berry and Josh Levitas’ adaptation of Shakespeare’s eighteenth sonnet is among the best of the lot. They succeed, not only in doing justice to the original poem, but also, with the illustrations, in adding a kind of meditative short story reflective of the emotion the sonnet conveys.”
— The Comics Journal
“This delightful trove of comics and graphics adapted from and inspired by classic works of literature brings together mostly new works by dozens of contributors, from the legendary (e.g., Will Eisner, Robert Crumb) to newer talents (e.g., Fred Van Lente, Matt Wiegle). The diverse voices include women, Native American, Asian, queer, Jewish, and other creators; the artistic styles run the gamut of experimental to cartoonish to photo-realistic; and the tones of the adaptations range from serious to irreverent. One can imagine many potential audiences for this unique volume, including practitioners in art and design, students of world literatures and/or religious traditions, and instructors who deal with issues of adaptation and translation. Readers will be fascinated to see on display in one volume so many varied approaches to visualizing classic texts, including wordless comics adapting Beowulf and The Tibetan Book of the Dead, a contemporary setting for Shakespeare's "Sonnet 18," a simultaneously textually faithful and visually stunning rendition of The Odyssey, and a lesbian reinterpretation of John Donne’s “The Flea.” Substantial notes on texts, translations, and contributors round out a bargain-priced, must-have title. Summing up: Essential. All readers.”
—Current Reviews for Academic Libraries
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Helpful thoughts toward the potential buyer:
* Some of the works include adult content, either in text or visual form.
* The majority of works included in this anthology are excerpts. It could be no other way.
* It's a great way to gain exposure to a broad range of classics.
* It's a great way to gain exposure to a broad range of art styles.
* Look at the price -- for 500 pages, full color throughout, and on high-quality paper, it's an absolute bargain!
To give a concrete example, one of the stories included is "The Lady With Two Coyntes" from 1001 Arabian Nights. It's about a woman who convinces her husband she has two sets of reproductive organs so she can get it on with a stableboy without being charged with adultery. First, choosing this out of all the stories in 1,001 nights (there are three in this volume) is like going to Tavern on the Green and ordering a hot dog. Second, the story is illustrated with art so poorly drawn and ugly it makes Ren and Stimpy look like a Rembrandt painting. Sadly, this is just the worst of several sections where the tale chosen, the art or both leave the reader shaking his head. When you pick up a book of collected great literature and stop reading partway through King Lear because the presentation is just plain annoying, ugly and has less artistic merit than the Pedro the Burro cartoons in Boy's Life, there's a problem with the underlying editorial approach. I found myself wondering what a good artist could have done with Clarence's speech from Richard III in its place.
Another (albeit minor) problem is that some of the artwork is divorced from the literary work it depicts. The illustrations that represent Dangerous Liaisons are wonderfully detailed, charming and witty, but if you weren't told what they were supposed to represent, they could just be whimsical works depicting 18th Century musicians. They only tell the story to those who already know it intimately.
Still, there are spots that are not just bright, but wonderful.Read more ›
The book is not full color. There are a few sections with full color but there are *way more* sections of black and white and spot color (spot color is one or two additional colors added to a black and white page-- not full color). I had the impression the book was all color. Not even close.
The stories are not complete. Instead of a story, you get a chapter, part, paragraph, or sometimes even just a sentence is illustrated out of a whole work. That's okay, I guess. But again, I had the impression from reading the description that a story or tale was being told, not a fraction of a story. I should have known better, I suppose, but it seems like they could have been honest in the description. Instead of saying "Midsummer Night's Dream" they could have said "the first page of Act Two of Midsummer Night's Dream" or even just "a highlight from" or something like that.
I am enjoying the wide selection from history and the huge variety of styles on display. I recommend these books but I wish they would be honest in the description. I hope this review gives you realistic expectations so you can enjoy these books 100% when you receive them.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I will just say that there are things unearthed in this volume that are gems and rare metals, and others, pure fool's gold. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Miroku Nemeth
great for all ages, and lots of wonderful artists, good production value, i'd happily pay more if it was hard covered and every image was colored.Published on June 15, 2014 by olson
I have been intrigued by this collection of the literary canon in one, graphic collection, but it is pretty expensive, so it took me a while to break down and buy them. Read morePublished on April 30, 2014 by OpheliasOwn
The explicit illustrations of sex and the human body as well as the selections within a piece make it a poor choice for a school library. Read morePublished on November 20, 2013 by Shelly Macer
I am not writing on the literature presented in the book becuse there is no need to write and make a comment on authenticity ot the literature. Read morePublished on October 2, 2013 by AHMED HUSSEIN
Big book, lots of material. I should have looked further at the description. I though it was going to be a book with pictures and captions. Its format is that of a comic book.Published on July 30, 2013 by Joan M. Eschner
I enjoyed this book and its treatment of its subject matter. (words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, words, The additional 9 words required for publication)Published on March 24, 2013 by EastCoastAl
This book is different because how these stories are presented, but in such an excellent way. I think the auhor is so clever to get a variety of arists to produce such great art... Read morePublished on February 10, 2013 by Stephen