The Graphic Canon, Vol. 1

Best Seller
The Graphic Canon, Vol. 1 by Russ Kick
Paperback $39.95

May 22, 2012 | 512 Pages

  • Paperback $39.95

    May 22, 2012 | 512 Pages


“While many of the great graphic books tackle dark subject matter, this ambitious three-volume set is a sheer delight. A huge roster of artists illustrates the Western Canan, including the works of Homer, Shakespeare, the Brontë Sisters, and Hemingway. A visual feast, the collection offers a fresh way of interpreting and appreciating the classics—and might encourage you to pick up a few you’ve never gotten around to” –Reader’s Digest

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“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.”
Publishers Weekly

“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.”
Kirkus Reviews
“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

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