Tuesday, March 04, 2008
WHAT I DONE BEEN READIN': CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED-GREAT EXPECTATIONS (1990/2008)
Returning to print after more than a decade, this first volume in the re-launch of the CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED series presents a handsomely rendered adaptation of the orphaned Pip’s first-person narrative of his journey from his humble childhood to his adulthood as an English gentleman. Though quite involving, this retelling of the Dickens classic registers as a “fast forward” version of the epic tale of one man’s evolution and the hard lessons learned from it, but that aspect is a minor quibble shoved aside by the charmingly cartoony art of Rick Geary. Long hailed for his unique work in such diverse showcases as National Lampoon, the DC Comics/Paradox Press “Big Books," and his exceptional continuing series A TREASURY OF VICTORIAN MURDER, Geary’s fleshy characterizations breathe a near-animated life into proceedings that could have been made stodgy and dull in lesser hands. While the Classics Illustrated version will never supplant the original, this pleasant graphic interpretation may serve as an introduction to younger readers and perhaps eventually steer them to the wider world of the source material and beyond. Subsequent volumes in the series are eagerly anticipated, especially THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU and Bill Sienkiewicz's lysergic take on MOBY DICK. GREAT EXPECTATIONS hits the stands in April.