Masterpiece Comics

Cidu Bill on Feb 22nd 2010

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Has anybody else read this? I’m still trying to figure out whether I like it.

Filed in Bill Bickel, Masterpiece Comics, Wuthering Heights, comics, humor, literature | 27 responses so far

27 Responses to “Masterpiece Comics”

  1. Tullia Feb 22nd 2010 at 09:51 am 1

    No, but now I want to. If nothing else, Batman as Raskolnikov? I’m there!

    The school library journal review makes me wonder how many people will pick this up as “educational,” as kind of a Cliff’s Notes. That should be entertaining, since some of those strips are practically as obscure to the general public as the works they’re illustrating (for instance, I have only seen Little Lulu as comic book covers on the Internet, and I love comics).

  2. Richard Feb 22nd 2010 at 10:08 am 2

    I loved it. My favorites were the story of Adam and Eve wih Blondie, and the Scarlet Letter with Little Lulu.

  3. amo Feb 22nd 2010 at 10:17 am 3

    sorry… what exactly is it? amazon didn’t let me “look inside”

  4. James Feb 22nd 2010 at 11:34 am 4

    I haven’t seen this issue before, but I do have a couple “Classic Comics” which present classic works like “Ivanhoe” in a kid-friendly comic book format. They do not star comic strip characters, but stay true to the original books.

  5. Elyrest Feb 22nd 2010 at 12:23 pm 5

    I would love to read this comic. I read all the classics in comic form as a kid and loved them. I later went on to read most, but not all in book form and to this day I sometimes can’t remember which ones I read which way.

  6. Nicole Feb 22nd 2010 at 12:51 pm 6

    It seems to me that this is a spin on Pride and Prejudice with Zombies

  7. AMC Feb 22nd 2010 at 12:52 pm 7

    The version of Midsummer Night’s Dream in Sandman: Dream Country was the best classic-in-comic-form I have seen.

  8. paperboy Feb 22nd 2010 at 01:12 pm 8

    I really liked it. It’s not a serious, “Classics Illustrated”-type telling of the stories, but a funny take on the combination of classic comics and classics literature, with the emphasis on the comics. It really only works if you’re familiar with both, though.

  9. Joe Feb 22nd 2010 at 06:01 pm 9

    This looks interesting. Is Bronte Charlotte or Emily?

  10. mitch4 Feb 22nd 2010 at 06:15 pm 10

    I haven’t seen this one, but have enjoyed/admired other contemporary comix treatments of classic texts, of one sort or another.

    A really remarkable recent example was The Book of Genesis by Robert Crumb. “All 50 Chapters!” Extraordinary. Even the long list of begats is treated interestingly. And he uses the full text — mostly Robert Alter’s recent translation, some King James, some his own version to fit what he knows he means to draw.

  11. paperboy Feb 22nd 2010 at 06:15 pm 11

    Emily; It’s “Wuthering Heights” done in the style of an old E.C. horror comic book. (”The Scarlet Letter” is done in the style of “Little Lulu”, Dante’s “The Inferno” is done as a series of “Bazooka Joe” bubble-gum comics, and more)

  12. turquoise cow Feb 22nd 2010 at 07:38 pm 12

    @Nicole: I just finished reading that! It was awesome. There’s another one, I think Sense and Sensibility and Something Else (I forget what).

  13. Nicole Feb 22nd 2010 at 08:08 pm 13

    Sense and Sensibilities and Sea Monsters
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jZVE5uF24Q

  14. turquoise cow Feb 22nd 2010 at 09:04 pm 14

    That’s it! That video was awesome, especially the comment from a viewer expressing concern that the estate of Shakespeare might sue…

    I’ll have to put it on my list of books to read.

  15. Jessica Feb 22nd 2010 at 09:12 pm 15

    Non-sequitor alert: Have you guys heard of Mr. Stuffins? It’s a comic about a black ops teddy bear. It should be out in a few months.

  16. Usual John Feb 23rd 2010 at 07:38 am 16

    Sikoryak has been doing these comics for years, long before Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. His reworking of The Scarlet Letter with Little Lulu (my favorite of these) appeared several years ago in Raw.

    I found these quality of these to be quite uneven (in writing; the art is always good). Sometimes the comic strip characters transposed remarkably well - Little Lulu to The Scarlet Letter, Blondie to the Garden of Eden. At other times, the effect was less effective - Batman and Commissioner Gordon are fine as Raskolnikov and Inspector Porfiry, but Robin is truly jarring as Sonia (the prostitute with a heart of gold), and a retelling of Wuthering Heights in EC style doesn’t seem to add much. And some of the comics, such as the two page treatment of Mary Worth as Macbeth, are just too short for their subjects.

  17. pontiac6000fan Feb 23rd 2010 at 08:33 am 17

    Here’s a link with some excerpts from Kafka’s Metamorphosis as Charlie Brown:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112510733&sc=fb&cc=fp

  18. CIDU Bill Feb 23rd 2010 at 08:43 am 18

    Better yet, this one lets you read three complete stories.

  19. Morris Keesan Feb 23rd 2010 at 08:47 am 19

    I haven’t seen it, but echoing others, I really want to. I’ll be picking it up at the library this afternoon.
    I fondly remember reading the “Classics Illustrated” version of The Time Machine, among others.

  20. paperboy Feb 23rd 2010 at 01:49 pm 20

    But, Morris#19 (and others), realize that it’s not a straight, pictorial rendition of the stories, like “Classics Illustrated”; it’s a gag gimmick of putting known comic characters into riffs on the classics. Like Usual John#16 said, the writing quality is uneven, but I’m easily amused by an accurate copy of illustrators’ styles.

  21. amo Feb 23rd 2010 at 09:59 pm 21

    @James Thanks so much! I was confused by the earlier comments. Now that I think about it I actually had The Scarlet Letter in comic book form when I was younger and that was a creepy book for a 2nd grader to read. I had to read it a few times to understand it.

  22. Robert Feb 24th 2010 at 12:51 am 22

    I love this idea! My twelve-year-old son may get this for his birthday in a couple months.
    The caricatures of the authors on the front cover parodies the classic Classics Illustrated covers, with titles (”Crypt of Bronte”, “Inferno Joe” and so) that also recollect earlier comics.

  23. James Feb 24th 2010 at 11:03 am 23

    This is the most brilliant comic book I have ever seen! If you don’t all run out and buy it you are crazy. All of you.

  24. zbicyclist Feb 24th 2010 at 03:52 pm 24

    I’ve got “The Book of Genesis by Robert Crumb” as well. It’s surprisingly good, and gives Genesis much more of a literary / folk tale feel.

  25. mkilby Feb 24th 2010 at 05:09 pm 25

    My dad just sent me Crumb’s “Genesis” as a belated Christmas present, which I found very amusing. I’m sort of hoping to run into Mr. Natural or someone doing a reference to “Keep On Trucking” (not that I’m really expecting it).

  26. mitch4 Mar 13th 2010 at 12:03 pm 26

    My copy of Masterpiece Comics just arrived yesterday, and it’s really fine! I’m trying to read it in small pieces and stretch out the experience. Just now read Ziggy as Candide — oddly quite moving.

  27. Araxie Aug 11th 2010 at 03:42 am 27

    It’s actually kind of brilliant- when I think of the fad of books coming out like “Pride and Prejudice and Vampires” and “Abraham Lincoln- Vampire Hunter”, this is like taking the MONSTERS and turning THEM prim and proper! lol!

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