The Graphic Canon of Crime and Mystery, Vol. 1: From Poe to Arthur Conan Doyle to Stephen King

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I was unsure of what to expect from The Graphic Canon of Crime and Mystery. I hadn’t read any of Russ Kick’s previous graphic anthologies (there are Graphic Canons of classic and modern literature as well), and I wasn’t sure exactly how the book would approach its topic. I was concerned that “crime and mystery” would descend into the tawdry–salaciousness for the sake of salaciousness–or that the book would take on too much and consequently be a chore to wade through.

Fortunately, the book does neither. What it does do is present an anthology of excerpts taken from a variety of books, from Crime and Punishment to In Cold Blood, each illustrated by a different graphic artist. It’s a rich showcase of graphic artistic talent, featuring not only variety in form but in medium as well. Gareth Brookes, for example, uses actual embroidery to depict an excerpt from Jean Genet’s Miracle of the Rose. Even more intriguing, Karrie Fransman uses a mixture of photographs and set pieces (“graphic sculptures”) to depict an infamous scene from A Clockwork Orange. It’s a particularly risky pairing given the literal graphicness of this notorious scene. But it works surprisingly well. The risk-taking in this book is delightful and always pays off.

The Graphic Canon of Crime and Mystery is a treasure thoughtfully honoring and showcasing a range of both literary and graphic achievement. It’s a genuine pleasure and a wonderful book to have on your bookshelf.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 352 pages
Publisher Seven Stories Press
Publish Date 2017-Oct-31
ISBN 9781609807856 Buy this Book
Issue April 2018
Category Sequential Art


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