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The Graphic Canon, Vol. 1 (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) Library Binding – May 22, 2012

3.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Editor Russ Kick "(Everything You Know Is Wrong)" gives me the scoop: "My vision from the start was to essentially create The Norton Anthology of Literature in graphic form"--and he's getting three volumes to play with. "Lyric poems and short stories are contained [in these volumes] in their entirety," he continues. "But novels, plays, and epic poems are usually excerpted. Not always, though. Lysistrata, Medea, the Book of Revelation, and a handful of others contain the complete narrative, though they are condensed/abridged." About 80 percent is new material; the rest reprints. 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"

"In what looks to be the graphic publishing literary event of the year, Seven Stories Press will publish the first volume of the "Graphic Canon: Gilgamesh to Shakespeare to Dangerous Liaisons" in April, the first of a three-volume anthology of graphic interpretations of the world's literary classics created by 130 comics artists and illustrators."--Calvin Reid, "Publisher's Weekly"

"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

"Starting with "The Epic of Gilgamesh" and ending with "Hamlet", this meaty slab is laced with more wit, beauty, social commentary and shock than one might expect."
--"Kirkus Reviews"

"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"

"In what looks to be the graphic publishing literary event of the year, Seven Stories Press will publish the first volume of the "Graphic Canon: Gilgamesh to Shakespeare to Dangerous Liaisons" in April, the first of a three-volume anthology of graphic interpretations of the world's literary classics created by 130 comics artists and illustrators."--Calvin Reid, "Publisher's Weekly"

About the Author

RUSS KICK's bestselling anthologies, including "You Are Being Lied To "and "Everything You Know Is Wrong," have sold over half a million copies. "The New York Times "has dubbed Kick "an information archaeologist," "Details "magazine described Kick as "a Renaissance man," and "Utne Reader "named him one of its "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World." Russ Kick lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee, and Tucson, Arizona.
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Product Details

  • Series: Graphic Canon
  • Library Binding: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Turtleback; Turtleback School & Library ed. edition (May 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0606264132
  • ISBN-13: 978-0606264136
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 1.5 x 10.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,793,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I really don't understand why the negative comments about the sexual explicitness. Firstly, there are nowhere near as many naked women and pornographic scenes as the first 2 reviewers would have you believe. Notice how they didn't even mention which works that they are talking about? One calls the artists "pigs" when one of the most graphic (and it really isn't even that graphic) was drawn by a woman. Also, the sexuality is in context with the story (Lysistrata the play by Aristophanes in which the women withhold sex from the males so that they will make peace & a lesbian take on John Donne's the Flea in which the narrator is trying to seduce a woman) and again it isn't even graphic enough to call "porn". This book is beautiful and the artwork is in my opinion phenomenal. I always wanted to read classics like the Iliad and Dante's inferno but could never get through them. This is like a supercool cliff notes version. I especially enjoyed "Medea". There are numerous stories in here with absolutely no nudity. I also enjoyed another similar book called "Masterpiece Comics". If you like graphic novels and want to learn more about the classics- and you understand that there are sexual underpinnings to some of the classics and are not ashamed and embarrassed of the naked female and male bodies then this book is for you!
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Format: Paperback
Volume One kicks-off the Graphic Canon trilogy in style -- lots of styles, actually. The contrast between works is breathtaking. Just when I think I'm looking at my favorite piece in the book, I turn the page and am blown-away yet again.

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!
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Format: Paperback
The story of this volume is a story of soaring success and dismal failure. Much of the art is stunning, and some of the choices of which section of a great work would be included are pitch perfect. But where it fails, it fails miserably.

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 ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Here are some things I noticed when I got the books (I bought volumes 1 and 2) that I misunderstood when I ordered them:

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.
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