Poe: Stories and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe, art by Gareth Hinds
Published by Candlewick Press, 2017
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Some of Poe’s most iconic short stories and poems (including The Tell-Tale Heart, The Pit and the Pendulum, and The Raven) are given new life by artist Gareth Hinds. When it comes to Poe, I tend to enjoy his creepy atmosphere, striking concepts, and strong visuals (all of which are emphasised here by Hinds’s artwork), but I find his prose and narrative arcs do little for me, often fizzling out after a lot of excellent promise.
All-in-all, this is a great little sampler if you want to dip your toe into the author’s work. And while I’d say the collection has been curated well on the whole, the inclusion of the poem Annabel Lee feels at odds tonally with the rest of the selection, with otherwise focuses on horror. That said, it’s fun to explore where a lot of modern-day genre tropes began, so fans of horror will no doubt get a kick out of Poe’s work if they haven’t already tried it, with Hinds’s art proving suitably gothic and moody to go alongside it.
Frankenstein: The Graphic Novel by Mary Shelley, art by Declan Shalvey & Jason Cardy
Published by Classical Comics, 2009
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Frankenstein is one of my favourite novels of all time, so it was fun to revisit it with the added bonus of some deliciously gothic artwork. The team that worked on this did a fantastic job. Though the text is slightly abridged to allow the art to supplement the story (a couple of my favourite lines got the chop, hence the docking of a star), the core prose, themes, and narrative that made Shelley’s work so iconic still feel largely intact.
The visuals add a new dynamic for those looking to re-explore the birth of the sci-fi-horror genre, but they also make a potentially daunting classic feel all the more accessible for those who may have been putting it off.