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Gothic Classics presents Ann Radcliffe's archetypal gothic novel The Mysteries of Udopho, adapted by Antonella Caputo and Carlo Vergara. Plus: Jane Austen's gothic parody Northanger Abbey" by Trina Robbins and Anne Timmons; and Poe's "The Oval Portrait" by Malaysian illustrator Leong Wan Kok. Also "At the Gate," a ghost story with dogs by Myla Jo Closser, illustrated by Sh Gothic Classics presents Ann Radcliffe's archetypal gothic novel The Mysteries of Udopho, adapted by Antonella Caputo and Carlo Vergara. Plus: Jane Austen's gothic parody Northanger Abbey" by Trina Robbins and Anne Timmons; and Poe's "The Oval Portrait" by Malaysian illustrator Leong Wan Kok. Also "At the Gate," a ghost story with dogs by Myla Jo Closser, illustrated by Shary Flenniken;, and J. Sheridan Le Fanu's great vampire tale "Carmilla," by Rod Lott and Lisa K. Weber. With a dramatic cover painting from "Carmilla" by Lisa K. Weber.


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Gothic Classics presents Ann Radcliffe's archetypal gothic novel The Mysteries of Udopho, adapted by Antonella Caputo and Carlo Vergara. Plus: Jane Austen's gothic parody Northanger Abbey" by Trina Robbins and Anne Timmons; and Poe's "The Oval Portrait" by Malaysian illustrator Leong Wan Kok. Also "At the Gate," a ghost story with dogs by Myla Jo Closser, illustrated by Sh Gothic Classics presents Ann Radcliffe's archetypal gothic novel The Mysteries of Udopho, adapted by Antonella Caputo and Carlo Vergara. Plus: Jane Austen's gothic parody Northanger Abbey" by Trina Robbins and Anne Timmons; and Poe's "The Oval Portrait" by Malaysian illustrator Leong Wan Kok. Also "At the Gate," a ghost story with dogs by Myla Jo Closser, illustrated by Shary Flenniken;, and J. Sheridan Le Fanu's great vampire tale "Carmilla," by Rod Lott and Lisa K. Weber. With a dramatic cover painting from "Carmilla" by Lisa K. Weber.

30 review for Graphic Classics, Volume 14: Gothic Classics

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bionic Jean

    Gothic Classics is number 14 in the series "Graphic Classics" This volume was published in 2007, and has been edited by Tom Pomplun. It contains adaptations of three classic novels, two short stories and a poem. The authors represented are Jane Austen, Sheridan Le Fanu, Ann Radcliffe, Edgar Allan Poe and Myla Jo Closser. The first main piece is an adaptation of Carmilla by J. Sheridan le Fanu, illustrated in a whimsical style by Lisa K. Weber, a Californian artist. Her twisted representations of Gothic Classics is number 14 in the series "Graphic Classics" This volume was published in 2007, and has been edited by Tom Pomplun. It contains adaptations of three classic novels, two short stories and a poem. The authors represented are Jane Austen, Sheridan Le Fanu, Ann Radcliffe, Edgar Allan Poe and Myla Jo Closser. The first main piece is an adaptation of Carmilla by J. Sheridan le Fanu, illustrated in a whimsical style by Lisa K. Weber, a Californian artist. Her twisted representations of characters and cartoon images for "Carmilla", are rather reminiscent of the style of Tim Burton's film "The Corpse Bride". One of her illustrations features in colour on the cover, although for the story proper she appears to have used a combination of shaded charcoal pencil, with some inking out. This adaptation takes 40 pages. Lisa K. Weber generally illustrates young readers' books, plus working on background designs for children's animations. She also designs artwork for clothing and for textiles. Her images here would appeal to a teenage market. The Mysteries of Udolpho, a lengthy early Gothic novel by Ann Radcliffe, is the longest adaptation here, being illustrated over 46 pages by Carlo Vergara. Carlo Vergara is a Filipino graphic designer, who has here produced much more conventional designs to illustrate Ann Radcliffe's classic. In places they are quite bold and striking, especially in the interior scenes of the castle, although mostly they are rather spare pen and ink monochrome drawings. It has to be said however, that there is an advantage of not being overstylised in a work such as this. Lisa K. Weber's designs are rather distracting. As a consequence with such simple cartoons as these, the reader can become more involved with the story. The Oval Portrait by Edgar Allan Poe provides a brief interlude at just 4 pages. Illustrated by Leong Wan Kok, it also makes use of very stylised figures with a humorous touch, the whole feeling like a macabre joke. The chunky graphic style of the title and illustration of the turreted castle are quite striking, however. Leong Wan Kok works in the comics industry in Malaysia, and is known to Malaysian comic readers as "Puyuh". Anne Timmons, a U.S. illustrator from Portland, Oregon, has provided very sweet illustrations for Northanger Abbey. In fact they are so sweet that they verge on saccharine. Everyone without exception is pretty with a cute button nose; the older female characters are unbearably mumsy. Otherwise the characters are nicely drawn, with authentic expressions. Again the background detail is merely serviceable. It is clear from this cute style that Anne Timmons does most of her work in younger children's books. Here she has used pen and ink, taking 40 pages over the adaptation. The book ends with At the Gate by Myla Jo Closser illustrated by Shary Flennike, an American editor, writer and illustrator. She is known as an underground cartoonist, and much of her work is satirical or a parody. Her pen and ink cartoons here are very simple. There is no shading, no wash, merely a suggestion of cross-hatching occasionally. Many of the panes remain as outlines. The artwork does not impose, but allows the whimsical fantasy story to speak for itself. The original ghost story by Myla Jo Closser is very short, and here it is adapted over a brief 8 pages. There are just over 2 pages at the end, of notes on the original authors and illustrators. On the reverse of the title page, before the list of contents is I've a pain in my head - a 16 line comic verse by Jane Austen, illustrated as a cartoon by Molly Kiely. This seems to be the only occasion on which the artist has actually drawn the letters herself, rather than relying on a specific off-the-peg typed font. The adaptations of the stories themselves are quite good. The writers responsible for these are not credited, except in the artwork - the body of the pieces - which is a bad omission, so I will list them at the end. Choosing what to select from a lengthy novel such as "The Mysteries of Udolpho" is no mean feat, and deserves credit. In respect of "The Mysteries of Udolpho", it does appear that the adapter had to rewrite the text to a certain extent, to fit. Otherwise the language used is authentic, and at least most is taken from the original texts. The low star rating is down to the mismatch between the words and the illustrations. Sometimes a reader may feel that one or other is in keeping with their idea of the original, but the variety of styles used is confusing, and nobody is likely to enjoy them all. I personally enjoyed very few, and would much have preferred a consistent style, plus the use of colour. Perhaps it is a book to dip into. It certainly affords an easy way to access some of the longer classic novels, and for others may be a pleasant reminder of them, as it takes just a short while to read each one. As an introduction for children though, I am doubtful whether the artistic styles chosen really match the language employed in these classics. My impression is that most would be tempted to "skim" the text, whereas those who enjoy the books themselves, may well feel exasperated by their presentation here. CONTENTS : I've a pain in my head by Jane Austen Illustrated by Molly Kiely Carmilla by J. Sheridan le Fanu Adapted by Rod Lott Illustrated by Lisa K. Weber The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe Script by Antonella Caputo Illustrated by Carlo Vergara The Oval Portrait by Edgar Allan Poe Adapted by Tom Pomplun Illustrated by Leong Wan Kok Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen Adapted by Trina Robbins Illustrated by Anne Timmons At the Gate by Myla Jo Closser Adapted by Tom Pomplun Illustrated by Shary Flenniken

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bry

    Carmilla - 5 STARS By Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu Illustrated by Lisa K. Weber The art for this story is be far the best in the anthology. Lisa Weber's illustrations are smooth, curvy, layered, and detailed. The characters are innocent appearing, voluptuous, and creamy looking. The extreme proportions such as the large eyes, tiny hands and waists draw attention, and focus to the subtle expressions and movements she gives the characters. What really sets it apart though is that the finished product Carmilla - 5 STARS By Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu Illustrated by Lisa K. Weber The art for this story is be far the best in the anthology. Lisa Weber's illustrations are smooth, curvy, layered, and detailed. The characters are innocent appearing, voluptuous, and creamy looking. The extreme proportions such as the large eyes, tiny hands and waists draw attention, and focus to the subtle expressions and movements she gives the characters. What really sets it apart though is that the finished product is still in pencil unlike the other illustrations throughout the book which were inked over. The pencil finish allows for the layers within the shadowing, the various pressures used, and the brushstrokes utilized to be seen and appreciated. (The cover art for the book is taken from this story.) I have never read the story of Carmilla, although it is definitely on my TBR list now, and still the graphic version was extremely easy to follow, suspenseful, and eerie. They did an excellent job adapting the story and text without losing much in the way of plot of characterization. I still felt the girl's terror, Carmilla's desire and bloodlust, and the family's concern. Just a fantastic story with amazing art! ***** The Mysteries of Udolpho - 3 STARS By Ann Radcliffe Illustrated by Carlo Vergara Never having read The Mysteries of Udolpho before this I found the adaptation to be lacking. I kept having to reread portions and go back and forth and understand the amount of characters, their connections to one another, and their place within the mystery. Also the art for this story was extremely reminiscent of Prince Valiant of all things. The art was easy to follow but lacked real inspiration to me. Also there was so much narration with very little text making a story with so much intrigue and action a bit on the boring side. I had already wanted to read this book because I love JA's Northanger Abby, and hopefully I will one day because even though I now know the ending to the main mystery I am sure I missed so much more with this adaptation. ***** The Oval Portrait - 4 STARS By Edgar Allan Poe Illustrated by Leong Wan Kok Oh Poe, how can you not love him! This story is about a painter who loved his art more than his wife, and yet wanted to paint her. She sat for him and he indulged his passion for days and weeks on end. It wasn't until the last stroke was applied and the piece done in which he had declared the portrait 'life itself' when he realized she was dead! So wonderfully morbid and full of undertones. Yet despite this sad and creepy tale the art itself is just this side of whimsical and is a great counterbalance to the story. Yet the whole piece is also done with no dialog, just narration, which is odd yet totally works. ***** Northanger Abbey - 3.5 STARS By Jane Austen Illustrated by Anne Timmons The whole reason I got this volume was for this story as JA is by far my favorite author. This time the art was extremely detailed. Everything was included, even down to candlesticks and patterns in the wallpaper in the background. The story though was somewhat lacking. There was a good ration of dialog to narration but the climax of the story was greatly paraphrased and diminished to the point that it seemed silly. ***** At The Gate - 3 STARS By Myla Jo Closser Illustrated by Shary Flenniken The art in this piece is a bit odd to me. Most of the frames show somewhat vague and featureless portrayals, but then a large amount of detail is dedicated to the oddest things like the little girls hair and the pattern on a man's suit. Furthermore, the story itself was more morbid and depressing that gothic in nature.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Corinne Edwards

    2.5 I got this out from the library because I needed to read a horror book published by an indie press. Horror isn't really my jam so I tried this, which based on the cover, is in that vein and is by an indie press. The first story, Carmilla, is definitely horror and truly creepy. That story was apparently inspiration for Stoker's Dracula and I can totally see how. The artistic style was sorta whimsical but it worked. I liked this one best, along with a Poe story called The Oval Portrait. The Mys 2.5 I got this out from the library because I needed to read a horror book published by an indie press. Horror isn't really my jam so I tried this, which based on the cover, is in that vein and is by an indie press. The first story, Carmilla, is definitely horror and truly creepy. That story was apparently inspiration for Stoker's Dracula and I can totally see how. The artistic style was sorta whimsical but it worked. I liked this one best, along with a Poe story called The Oval Portrait. The Mysteries of Udolpho was WAY too much information condensed into one short story, it was confused and honestly didn't flow well at all. There was one seriously chilling moment but that's about it. Northanger Abbey was fun because, well, Austen, and it's sorta mocking the creepiness of those horror stories, which is clever but not actually creepy itself. The last story, though, At the Gate, was cute but completely not in the genre at ALL. Like, it feels like a misprint. I don't get it. It was a mixed bag but the two I liked, I did really like.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    One of the benefits of reading classic books in graphic novel translations is that they are a bit dumbed down. You don't have to struggle with that classic language. One of the drawbacks is that the stories may be so condensed and so much stuff is left out (The Mysteries of Udolpho, I'm looking at you) that maybe the story is a little bit confusing.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Vick

    LOVED At the Gates short story by Myla Jo Closser. The others were interesting, but I am glad I read this version of the Mysteries of Udolpho. It is going to be the topic of discussion at my next JASNA meeting. Catherine Morland & Henry Tilney may have liked it, but I can't see myself doing so. At least now I have the basic gist. LOVED At the Gates short story by Myla Jo Closser. The others were interesting, but I am glad I read this version of the Mysteries of Udolpho. It is going to be the topic of discussion at my next JASNA meeting. Catherine Morland & Henry Tilney may have liked it, but I can't see myself doing so. At least now I have the basic gist.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Mansfield

    My actual rating is 4.5* as the last story just didn't do it for me. Out of 5 stories and one poem, the first 4 stories are classic Gothic tales by the great authors of the genre from their period in time. Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu was fantastic; a vampire story which influenced Stoker. I love this prolific Victorian short story writer and this was my favourite in the collection. Then comes Ann Radcliffe's "The Mysteries of Udolpho", a classic of the genre and considered one of the first s My actual rating is 4.5* as the last story just didn't do it for me. Out of 5 stories and one poem, the first 4 stories are classic Gothic tales by the great authors of the genre from their period in time. Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu was fantastic; a vampire story which influenced Stoker. I love this prolific Victorian short story writer and this was my favourite in the collection. Then comes Ann Radcliffe's "The Mysteries of Udolpho", a classic of the genre and considered one of the first such novels. I haven't read the novel yet so this was fun to read, though it is such a complicated and convoluted story that adaptation only makes it more so. Edgar Allan Poe's short piece "The Oval Portrait" is well done, then follows Jane Austen's pastiche of the genre "Northanger Abbey" which readily makes references to "Udolpho". I'm not a fan of Austen, but I've read some of her works including this and must say I enjoyed the graphic much more than the novel! My only complaint is the last story by Myla Jo Closser, whom I'd never heard of, entitled "At the Gate". I wouldn't by any definition call this Gothic. A story of dogs in Heaven. It is a bright, happy, cheerful story (those are not elements of Gothic) and with the wealth of Gothic short stories available I'm sure a more appropriate title could have been selected for inclusion instead. Otherwise a fine volume with the usual pleasing art and a special call out to Lisa K. Weber's excellent work on "Carmilla".

  7. 4 out of 5

    David

    I wish I had been more entertained by this book. Gothic stories are my favourites, but many of the elements I love best seem to have been missing here: That creepy aura that goes with them as you discover something is /wrong/... and the lovely eye-candy of the various eras that they were written about... They managed to take some truly unsettling, even terrifying stories and reduce them to the old "and then this happened. then this happened. then they suspected a bad thing, but this happened. the I wish I had been more entertained by this book. Gothic stories are my favourites, but many of the elements I love best seem to have been missing here: That creepy aura that goes with them as you discover something is /wrong/... and the lovely eye-candy of the various eras that they were written about... They managed to take some truly unsettling, even terrifying stories and reduce them to the old "and then this happened. then this happened. then they suspected a bad thing, but this happened. then a bad thing happened, the end." So Sad. The art was still good, and I did read through it, so that's saying something... I just didn't get the JOY out of it that I hoped to.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bekah

    This was a great little collection. I had only previously read one of the adapted stories, so it was fun to be introduced to these gothic classics in illustrated form. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be Carmilla (written by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, adapted by Rod Lott, illustrated by Lisa K. Weber). The story was interesting and spooky, but more than that I really loved the artwork. It reminded me a lot of The Corpse Bride (the characters looking angular, gaunt, and big eyed.) In all, a fu This was a great little collection. I had only previously read one of the adapted stories, so it was fun to be introduced to these gothic classics in illustrated form. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be Carmilla (written by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, adapted by Rod Lott, illustrated by Lisa K. Weber). The story was interesting and spooky, but more than that I really loved the artwork. It reminded me a lot of The Corpse Bride (the characters looking angular, gaunt, and big eyed.) In all, a fun collection that was great to read on Halloween.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Some of the stories were better displayed than others but overall it was an interesting and quick read. My favorite story was definitely "The Mysteries of Udolpho." But "At the Gate" was also a lovely story to picture. I would like to think that my best furry friends will be waiting to greet me at the gate.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cecilia

    This is an interesting book. Some of the novels are very well adapted, but I feel that in other cases reading the original novel is so much better. Great illustrations on "Carmilla". The story that I like best was "The Mysteries of Udolpho". A good way to get an intro into the World of the Gothic Novel :).

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ed

    A chilling suite of yarns based on gothic fiction classics. An easy read. Polish it off on a windy night with raindrops and swaying branches tapping on the windows, and feeble moonlight struggling through the swiftly moving clouds.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    Carmilla was 5 STARS, brilliant story telling and graphics. I also really enjoyed Mysteries of Udolpho. the rest meh.... I got this one specifically for Northanger Abbey, but it was pretty blah, which the actual book is not.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    My class really admired the version of Carmilla in this volume -- we had a great time discussing the choices the illustrator made to capture the spirit of the original text. I like the version of Poe's "The Oval Portrait" included in this volume as well.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany Lynn Kramer

    I was immediately intrigued by the idea behind this series. Since high school I've liked classic Gothic tales and figured I might enjoy them even more being retold in graphic novel form. There where a few that wont bad but over all I couldn't connect.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    A collection of Gothic literature done in graphic novel form. Presumably to garner a new audience. The stories were adapted OK. I wish there was more suspense in the Poe. I do like the way Northanger Abbey referenced the previous story.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sonja

    I really liked a few of these stories but I think most of them didn't work for me. I'm also not convinced that Northanger Abbey makes sense in this collection despite its references to Udolpho...was confusing to me at the very least.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Charllinee

    this will be the best book i have read all year.

  18. 4 out of 5

    CJ - It's only a Paper Moon

    Wasn't especially thrilled by this.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Maerdi

    Cute concept, but I suspect all of the original works have been dreadfully oversimplified, with the most important bits cast aside in favor of that which is visually arresting.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    Sigh. Outside of Le Fanu and Poe, the other stories were boring and drawn in a style akin to the old Prince Valiant comics. Not at all what I expected.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Erika

    Not sure if it's the graphic novel format or just that I'm not that much into gothic novels - but this wasn't my favorite.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    The art was slightly elementary.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    It was nice to have a quick way of reading several gothic stories that I am only mildly curious about. The graphic novel form suited the stories.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Marti

    Loved seeing these stories illustrated. They made me want to check out some of the actual novels, which I did! :)

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ice Queen Wanderer •The Cursed Prophetess•

    Carmilla was great, same with The Oval Portait, but was ruined by the others.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Phil

    liked the art in carmilla,cute storie.the rest of the stories were ok.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    I enjoyed Carmilla and The Oval Portrait the most.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ange

    Alas, I'm not into the graphic arts. Was fun, though.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rosa

    Most of the stories had waaay too much tell rather than show. At the Gate was probably the best of all the stories.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

    I'm not usually a fan of graphic novels, but I really liked this one. Creepy, and dark, with awesome illustrations, it held my interest throughout.

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