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Off My Mind: Classic Literature as Comic Books
by Tony 'G-Man' Guerrero on
Do people really want to see the classics in comic book format?
Marvel especially has been putting out several titles lately. In the last few years they've published comic versions of Treasure Island, Last of the Mohicans, The Man in the Iron Mask, Moby Dick and Pride and Prejudice among others.
I enjoy comics in different genres but I have to ask, what the heck is the deal with these literature comics? Is there really a need for comic books based on the classics?
== TEASER ==
If someone is a huge fan of the classics, there's the chance that they would want to enjoy it in comic book form. After having read the original over and over, this would be a way to get a new interpretation. It could also be a way for them to share the story with someone that might not want to take the time to read the actual book.
I would imagine if someone had to read a classic for a class, they might be tempted to read the comic version. This could be a risky move since there's the chance that it wouldn't be a true adaptation and could be more expensive than just buying Cliff Notes. Of course neither will give you the full content of the book.
Another reason for these adaptations could be to bring new readers to comics. A fan of the classics might come across the comic and read it or receive it as a novelty gift. As crazy as it sounds, there are some people that feel comics are for kids. Seeing a classic in comic form might change their mind. It could show them that comics aren't necessarily juvenile. They could become converted into trying other comics.
There may be some good reasons for all these classic adaptations but the chance that I will actually read one is pretty slim. I can appreciate why they're made but I would rather see the creators on the book work on something more original. According to Comic Vine, Moby Dick has appeared in 15 different volumes, the Three Musketeers have appeared in 16 and the Man in the Iron Mask has been in 6. Do we really need to see these stories adapted over and over? Would it be better to have these comics expand on the original source material like the Stephen King comics of The Dark Tower or The Stand do?
I'd like to hear from people that have read any of these adaptations. How do they compare to the originals. Is there really a big market for them?