Drawn from the Classics

Essays on Graphic Adaptations of Literary Works

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About the Book

The graphic novel is the most exciting literary format to emerge in the past thirty years. Among its more inspired uses has been the superlative adaptation of literary classics. Unlike the comic book abridgments aimed at young readers of an earlier era, today’s graphic novel adaptations are created for an adult audience, and capture the subtleties of sophisticated written works. This first ever collection of essays focusing on graphic novel adaptations of various literary classics demonstrates how graphic narrative offers new ways of understanding the classics, including the works of Homer, Poe, Flaubert, Conrad and Kafka, among many others.

About the Author(s)

Stephen E. Tabachnick is a professor of English literature at the University of Memphis and has taught classes on the graphic novel for more than 20 years. The editor of Teaching the Graphic Novel and author of The Quest for Jewish Belief and Identity in the Graphic Novel, he has published articles on graphic novel adaptations of Victorian and Modern British Literature.
Esther Bendit Saltzman completed her master’s thesis on graphic novel adaptations and has presented papers on adaptations of Macbeth and A Christmas Carol. A Ph.D. candidate at the University of Memphis, her research focuses on graphic novel adaptations of literary classics.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Stephen E. Tabachnick and Esther Bendit Saltzman
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 292
Bibliographic Info: 43 photos, notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7879-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1976-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Preface  1

Introduction  3

Here There Be Monsters (and Heroes): Homer’s Odyssey and the Graphic Novel—Paul D. Streufert  19

Hwaet If? Beowulf in Comics—Jason Tondro  33

Killing Desdemona: Staging Sexual Violence in Othello Graphic Novels—J. Caitlin Finlayson  46

Illustrating the Uncertainty Within: Recent Comics Adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe—Derek Parker Royal  60

The Good, the Bad and the Parodic in Graphic Adaptation—Eric S. Rabkin  82

In Search of the White Whale: Adaptations of Moby-Dick—Dirk Vanderbeke  96

“I don’t see what good a book is without pictures or conversations”: Imaginary Worlds and Intertextuality in Alice in Wonderland and Alice in Sunderland—Matthew J.A. Green  110

“Does That Change Anything?” (Post)Feminist Implications of Gemma Bovery—Eric L. Berlatsky  127

Drawing Style, Genre and the Destabilization of Register in a Graphic Adaptation of Trollope’s 1878 Novel John Caldigate—David Skilton and Simon Grennan  147

The Masks of Dracula: In Search of the Authentic Performative Vampire in Three Graphic Novel Adaptations of Bram Stoker’s Dracula—Ana G. Gal  161

The Picture and Dorian Gray: Interpretive Pluralism in Graphic Adaptations of Wilde’s Novel—Esther Bendit Saltzman  177

Illustrating the Abyss: An Interview with Catherine Anyango on Heart of Darkness —Christine Ferguson  194

Visualizing the Unrepresentable: Graphic Novel Adaptations of Kafka’s Metamorphosis—Martha Kuhlman  205

An Unusual Adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby—Stephen E. Tabachnick  221

Not Telling, but Retelling: From Raymond Queneau’s Exercises in Style to Matt Madden’s 99 Ways to Tell a Story and Back—Jan Baetens  235

Illustrated Man: Ray Bradbury, Comics and the Authorized Graphic Novels—Darren ­Harris-Fain  249

Bibliography  263

About the Contributors  267

Index  271


Book Reviews & Awards

“recommended” —Choice; “the volume succeeds…in establishing that ‘while pure literary texts will always have their unique merits, graphic novel adaptations can bring a new vision and a new interpretation to the works upon which they are based,’ and I am delighted to have a host of exceptional work that I can reference the next time I am questioned about the ‘dumbing down’ of great literature through comics adaptations”—English Literature in Translation 180–1920.