A Visual Feast in the Graphic Canon

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By Becky Hass

Graphic Canon 180px

Think about the first piece of literature you ever loved. What did it look like in your mind’s eye? Three years ago editor Russ Kick made a wish list of tales from world literature and went about contacting cartoonists to illustrate each one. On Wednesday, May 30th, 2012, the Reisterstown Road Branch was delighted to welcome Kick sharing about his work as editor of the new graphic novel collection The Graphic Canon, Vol. 1: From the Epic of Gilgamesh to Shakespeare to Dangerous Liaisons.

"Who is the target audience for The Graphic Canon?" one audience member asked Kick about this new compilation. "Just about everyone," he replied, and sure enough there is a bit of everything in this 500 page tome of adaptions by many luminary cartoonists, like Will Eisner, R. Crumb, Rick Geary, and Molly Crabapple. Kick shared images and stories from not only the first volume but also the two upcoming volumes as well, which will total over 1500 pages of fine art and storytelling.

One audience member came straight to the Information Desk after the program to place a hold on the first volume. "It really made me want to read the book," she said. "I really enjoyed the two-page spread on 1984." Another customer took this sentiment further when he said, "Such projects as The Graphic Canon are long overdue and doubtless will help return interest to literature and literacy."

Graphic Canon.Candide

Personally, I enjoyed the mix of mediums from watercolor to collage and the range of works from Trickster tales to Candide, one of which is featured here by Albinal. Learn more about this artist’s experience working on this book on his blog, Alibinal.com.

Look for this volume and to the next two volumes out later this year in September and October!

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