The Graphic Canon Volume 1: The World’s Great Literature as Comics and Visuals from The Epic of Gilgamesh to Shakespeare to Dangerous Liaisons

The Graphic Canon Volume 1: The World’s Great Literature as Comics and Visuals from The Epic of Gilgamesh to Shakespeare to Dangerous Liaisons Edited by Russ Kick Read: April 2013
The Graphic Canon Volume 1: The World’s Great Literature as Comics and Visuals from The Epic of Gilgamesh to Shakespeare to Dangerous Liaisons
Edited by Russ Kick
Read: April 2013

Books are more interesting when there are illustrations or photos.

That’s why when I thought how much of a serendipitous moment it was when I found this treat. I couldn’t browse the whole thing while at the book fair because it’s too heavy. I never weighed it but I believe it’s about a kilo and a half.

The only thing that made me put it down was the price—not the weight. It fetched almost close to 1,500! Well, yeah, I had the money but there were other stuff I was looking out for and I just took note of buying this one last.

Slices

I have read anthologies before so my one of my greatest expectations was that every piece of literature here would be whole pieces. When I got a better look of the thing at home, I found it to be made up of slices—like a four-season pizza or “rainbow” cake.

For a moment, I felt duped.

But I already bought it and, even though it may not contain the wholes, the pieces could prove to be enjoyable themselves. So I gave it a try.

Tasting

While I read Graphic Canon, I realized that part of the reason they were compiled as such is for the reader to search for actual pieces then read them in their entirety. If not that, to look for the artists’ works or the one featured in the book.

Anyway, it may be a small feast but it took me a long while to finish. It’s not easy flipping through a kilo-and-a-half book. It’s not exactly something I could bring with me to work or the bank. So I only read it when I’m at home, usually just before going to sleep.

Personal favorites of mine: Coyote and the Pebbles (Story by Dayton Edmonds, Art by Micah Farritor), The Odyssey (Art/Adaptation by Gareth Hinds), Mahabharata (Art/Adaptation by Matt Wiegle), Aenid (Art/Adaptation by Michael Lagocki), Beowulf (Art/Adaptation by Gareth Hinds), The Inferno (Art/Adaptation by Hunt Emerson), Master William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 (Art/Adaptation by Robert Berry with Josh Levitas), and “Letter to the Royal Academy of Brussels” (a.k.a. “Fart Proudly”) (Art/Adaptation by Stan Shaw).

Exotic pieces that made me linger for one reason or another: Lysistrata (Art/Adaptation and Translation by Valerie Schrag), The Book of Daniel (Art/Adaptation by Benjamin Frisch), On the Nature of Things (Art/Adaptation by Tom Biby and Jonathan Fetter-Vorm [a.k.a. Two Fine Chaps]), The Woman with Two Coyntes (Art/Adaptation by Vicki Nerino), The Tibetan Book of the Dead (Bardo Thodol) (Art/Adaptation by Sanya Glisic), and Outlaws of the Water Margin (Illustrations by Shawn Cheng).

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