The Graphic Canon, Vol. 2: From "Kubla Khan" to the Brontë Sisters to The Picture of Dorian Gray
$34.95 $26.21
  • Paperback
  • 512
  • October 2, 2012
  • 9781609803780

The Graphic Canon, Vol. 2: From "Kubla Khan" to the Brontë Sisters to The Picture of Dorian Gray

Russ Kick

The classic literary canon of Western civilization meets the comics artists, illustrators, and other artists who have remade reading in the last years of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first century in Russ Kick's magisterial, three-volume, full-color The Graphic Canon, volumes 1, 2, and 3.

Volume 2 gives us a visual cornucopia based on the wealth of literature from the 1800s. Several artists—including Maxon Crumb and Gris Grimly—present their versions of Edgar Allan Poe's visions. We see a stunning take on the greatest American novel, Moby-Dick. Meanwhile, that other greatest American novel, Huckleberry Finn, is adapted uncensored for the first time, as Twain wrote it. The bad boys of Romanticism—Shelley, Keats, and Byron—are visualized here, and so are the Brontë sisters. We see both of Coleridge's most famous poems: "Kubla Khan" and "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (the latter by British comics legend Hunt Emerson). Philosophy and science are ably represented by ink versions of Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra and Darwin's On the Origin of Species.

Frankenstein, Les Misérables, Great Expectations, Middlemarch, Anna Karenina, Crime and Punishment (a hallucinatory take on the pivotal murder scene), Thoreau's Walden (in spare line art by John Porcellino of King-Cat Comics fame), "The Drunken Boat" by Rimbaud, Leaves of Grass by Whitman, and two of Emily Dickinson's greatest poems are all present and accounted for. John Coulthart has created ten magnificent full-page collages that tell the story of The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. And Pride and Prejudice has never looked this splendiferous!

This volume is a special treat for Lewis Carroll fans. Dame Darcy puts her unmistakable stamp on—what else?—the Alice books in a new sixteen-page tour-de-force, while a dozen other artists present their versions of the most famous characters and moments from Wonderland. There's also a gorgeous silhouetted telling of "Jabberwocky," and Mahendra Singh's surrealistic take on The Hunting of the Snark.

Curveballs in this volume include fairy tales illustrated by the untameable S. Clay Wilson, a fiery speech from freed slave Frederick Douglass (rendered in stark black and white by Seth Tobocman), a letter on reincarnation from Flaubert, the Victorian erotic classic Venus in Furs, the drug classic The Hasheesh Eater, and silk-screened illustrations for the ghastly children's classic Der Struwwelpeter, among many other canonical works.

Read an excerpt on Issuu here, and visit www.thegraphiccanon.wordpress.com (and follow @TheGraphicCanon on Twitter) for more information on the series.

Volume 1: From The Epic of Gilgamesh to Shakespeare to Dangerous Liaisons

Volume 3: From Heart of Darkness to Hemingway to Infinite Jest


REVIEWS:

"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."--Booklist, starred review

"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."--Publishers Weekly



About Russ Kick

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.

For more on Kick's new series, The Graphic Canon, visit www.thegraphiccanon.wordpress.com.

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