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blacbird
12-11-2014, 11:32 AM
For those unfamiliar, this was a long series of comic books from the 1940s-1950s, which produced "graphic novel" versions of classic literature. They are now highly collectable, if you're into that sort of thing, but I devoured them back as a kid, and I can truly say they led me into reading, in a big way.

Now, I'm curious. What works would fit into that series today, a half-century and more later? The most recent title that I recall being in there was the great Western novel The Ox-Bow Incident, by Walter Van Tilburg Clark, published in 1939. A few titles would be considered very obscure today, but most are still common parlance as literary classics.

So, my nominees for things the series either didn't include at the time, or would fit well today, if it were continued (and I'm looking at things that would fit the "graphic novel" concept of the original series; there were a lot of things that would be considered "genre" as well as "literary"):

Among older stuff:

Tarzan of the Apes, Edgar Rice Burroughs. An odd omission, but perhaps there were rights issues involved.

Riders of the Purple Sage, Zane Grey. Maybe the same problem.

Dracula, Bram Stoker. Odd omission.

Phantom of the Opera, Gustave Leroux. Similarly odd omission.

All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque

The Purple Cloud, M.P. Shiel

More recent, published too late to be considered fodder for the first series, but would seem to fit:

Lord of the Flies, William Golding
Fahrenheit-451, Ray Bradbury
Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
Lord of the Rings, along with The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
A High Wind in Jamaica, Richard Hughes
Watership Down, Richard Adams
The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
The Maltese Falcon, Raymond Chandler


caw

BenPanced
12-11-2014, 05:02 PM
I'm not sure what came of it, but somebody was going to release graphic novel versions of Agatha Christie's Poirot novels, starting with the first, The Mysterious Affair at Styles.

ETA: After doing some more checking, I've found they've been abridged (one runs only 46 pages). One reviewer thought it was a decent job but prefers the original format. (http://kafkatokindergarten.blogspot.com/2011/08/agatha-christie-graphic-novels-ordeal_07.html)

ironmikezero
12-12-2014, 12:46 AM
As a kid in the '50s, I loved those comics - great introductions to some classic literature. I'll admit they whetted my appetite for the original text and were a strong impetus to get my first public library card at the age of seven (my grandmother had to go with me and sign me up - a responsible adult had to be registered as a contact). Those comics (over one hundred with many duplicates) survived my younger brothers and sister, only to be discarded by our mother in a fit of redecorating/downsizing once the majority of us kids were on our own. Years later we would come to realize that they were very desirable as collectibles... <sigh> and now lost to us. Stuff happens...

Ken
12-12-2014, 01:41 AM
cool

Will try for some reprints. IDW (publisher) puts out some good ones. Recently got Dick Tracy dailies from the 40's. Maybe they have some of these titles as well.

frimble3
12-15-2014, 09:54 AM
I remember those well. They were a source of stories I would never have read otherwise: 'Tigers and Traitors', anyone?
'Classic Comics' were so wide ranging that I can't think of a book that couldn't be redone, I imagine copyright would be the chief challenge.
By the way, http://store.doverpublications.com/048678469x.html Dover Publications does a colour-your-own graphic novel of 'Dracula'.
Graphic novel: comic books for grown-ups.

Brightdreamer
12-15-2014, 10:20 AM
I see graphic novel adaptations of classic stories go through the library at a decent rate, so they're still popular. (Someone's also done graphic novel adaptations of several classic Twilight Zone episodes.)

I'm unfamiliar with the original run, so I don't know if these would be repeats:

Did they do any Jack London? His stuff would make decent graphic novels.

How about a graphic novel of Metropolis? (It was originally a 1926 book, by Thea von Harbou, now in public domain. A rather bash-you-over-the-head message, but plenty of compelling imagery for an artist to play with.)

Ken
12-15-2014, 04:48 PM
metropolis. now there was a movie, unlike this modern --
modern stuff which is very nice, indeed !

Layla Lawlor
12-16-2014, 01:18 AM
I used to adore these! I was really a generation too young for them (born in the '70s) but my mom had a bunch of her old ones, and I loved them to pieces ... literally. :D The other day I actually came across one in a box -- Jules Verne's Off on a Comet, which was one of my absolute favorites of all of the ones we had, as evidenced by the fact that I've kept it all these years!

Like someone else said, I really think you could do this treatment on just about any novel. There are already comics adaptations or tie-ins of a few modern books, mostly sci-fi and fantasy. Really I think almost anything would work for it, from action stuff to literary to romance.

BenPanced
12-16-2014, 01:39 AM
I see graphic novel adaptations of classic stories go through the library at a decent rate, so they're still popular. (Someone's also done graphic novel adaptations of several classic Twilight Zone episodes.)

I'm unfamiliar with the original run, so I don't know if these would be repeats:

Did they do any Jack London? His stuff would make decent graphic novels.

How about a graphic novel of Metropolis? (It was originally a 1926 book, by Thea von Harbou, now in public domain. A rather bash-you-over-the-head message, but plenty of compelling imagery for an artist to play with.)
The US copyright was restored in 1996 (Golan v. Holder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golan_v._Holder)), and I'm guessing the restorations in 2008 and 2010 have complicated matters, as well.

There was this edition of the novel, but I wouldn't exactly call it a graphic novel. More like a novel with illustrations. (http://www.phuturama.de/?p=505)

Then there was Superman's Metropolis, which is essentially the film with Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Lex Luthor, etc. dropped into the cast. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superman%27s_Metropolis)

guttersquid
12-16-2014, 03:01 AM
Without knowing which titles were included, it's hard to know which to add, but I'll take a stab. I tried to pick books that were standouts in their genre and had some manner of impact impact on the public and/or on the literary world.

I think War of the Worlds was done, but if not, I'd add it.
If you add Dracula, you have to add Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.


I, Robot, Issac Asimov
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
Sounding, Hank Searles (I might be the only person to read and love this book.)
Fail-Safe, Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler

Gravity
12-16-2014, 03:18 AM
I had a lot of them, but the two that stand out are War of the Worlds and The Man Who Laughs.

Brightdreamer
12-16-2014, 03:20 AM
The US copyright was restored in 1996 (Golan v. Holder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golan_v._Holder)), and I'm guessing the restorations in 2008 and 2010 have complicated matters, as well.


Huh... Feedbooks must've lied to me, then. (That's where I downloaded my public domain eBook of it a couple years back - the blurbs at the front discuss public domain status, and I thought USA was included.)

blacbird
12-16-2014, 09:01 AM
I had a lot of them, but the two that stand out are War of the Worlds and The Man Who Laughs.

Agreed, with a big exclamation point, and I'd add The Time Machine, along with WoW, also by H.G. Wells.

But The Man Who Laughs, by Victor Hugo, might just be the most currently neglected great 19th century novel. It ranks right up there with his other two masterpieces, Notre Dame de Paris and Les Miserables. I'm amazed that no movie producer in recent years has taken it on as a big, sprawling, melodramatic tear-jerker project. It was made into a movie back in the 1930s, I believe. But since the 1950s, when it was one of the last additons to the Classics Illustrated comics series, it seems to have been utterly forgotten. It is available on-line and in a POD edition, should anyone wish to get it.

caw

BenPanced
12-16-2014, 09:08 AM
Huh... Feedbooks must've lied to me, then. (That's where I downloaded my public domain eBook of it a couple years back - the blurbs at the front discuss public domain status, and I thought USA was included.)
Okay. That's a different ball of wax entirely. I thought you were talking about the film, not the book. I can't tell you anything on the book's copyright status; Golan v. Holder applies to the movie only. Sorry 'bout that!

blacbird
12-16-2014, 09:19 AM
Did they do any Jack London? His stuff would make decent graphic novels.

The Call of the Wild and White Fang were both in the series. The Sea-Wolf might have been, but I'll need to check. London died in 1916, and all his work, as far as I know, is in public domain everywhere. Some other good London possibilities would be The Star Rover and Martin Eden.

I'll do a bit of a research and produce a list of the original titles in the series, if there's interest.

caw

blacbird
12-16-2014, 09:56 AM
The list. Forgive my technical stupidity, I don't know how to reformat for font, etc. But it's an interesting list, including a lot of obvious classics, and some things nobody even thinks about today:
1. THE THREE MUSKETEERS – Alexandre Dumas
2. IVANHOE – Walter Scott
3. THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO – Alexandre Dumas
4. THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS – James Fennimore Cooper
5. MOBY DICK – Herman Melville (http://mobydick/index.htm)
6. TALE OF TWO CITIES – Charles Dickens (http://taleoftwocities/index.htm)
7. ROBIN HOOD
8. ARABIAN NIGHTS
9. LES MISERABLES – Victor Hugo (http://lesmiserables/index.htm)
10. ROBINSON CRUSOE – Daniel Defoe
11. DON QUIXOTE – Miguel DeCervantes
12. RIP VAN WINKLE & HEADLESS HORSEMAN – Washington Irving (http://ripvanwinkle/index.htm)
13. DR JEKYLL & MR. HYDE – Robert Louis Stevenson
14. WESTWARD HO! – Charles Kingsley
15. UNCLE TOM'S CABIN – Harriet Beecher Stowe (http://uncletomscabin/index.htm)
16. GULLIVER'S TRAVELS – Jonathan Swift (http://gulliverstravels/index.htm)
17. THE DEERSLAYER – James Fennimore Cooper
18. THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME – Victor Hugo (http://hunchback/index.htm)
19. HUCKLEBERRY FINN – Mark Twain (http://huckleberryfinn/index.htm)
20. THE CORSICAN BROTHERS – Alexandre Dumas
21. THREE FAMOUS MYSTERIES – Doyle-Poe-Maupassant
22. THE PATHFINDER – James Fennimore Cooper
23. OLIVER TWIST – Charles Dickens (http://olivertwist/index.htm)
24. A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT – Mark Twain
25. TWO YEARS BEFORE THE MAST – R H Dana Jr.
26. FRANKENSTEIN – Mary W Shelley (http://frankenstein/index.htm)
27. THE ADVENTURES OF MARCO POLO
28. MICHAEL STROGOFF – Jules Verne
29. THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER – Mark Twain
30. THE MOONSTONE – William Wilkie Collins
31. THE BLACK ARROW – Robert Louis Stevenson
32. LORNA DOONE – R D Blackmore
33. THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES – Arthur Conan Doyle
34. MYSTERIOUS ISLAND – Jules Verne
35. THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII – Edward Bulwer-Lytton
36. TYPEE – Herman Melville
37. THE PIONEERS – James Fennimore Cooper
38. THE ADVENTURES OF CELLINI
39. JANE EYRE – Charlotte Bronte
40. MYSTERIES – Edger Allan Poe (http://mysteries/index.htm)
41. TWENTY YEARS AFTER – Alexandre Dumas
42. SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON – Jonathan Wyss
43. GREAT EXPECTATIONS – Charles Dickens (http://greatexpectations/index.htm)
44. MYSTERIES OF PARIS – Eugene Sue
45. TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL DAYS – Thomas Hughes
46. KIDNAPPED – Robert Louis Stevenson
47. TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA – Jules Verne (http://20000leagues/index.htm)
48. DAVID COPPERFIELD – Charles Dickens (http://davidcopperfield/index.htm)
49. ALICE IN WONDERLAND – Lewis Carroll (http://aliceinwonderland/index.htm)
50. TOM SAWYER – Mark Twain
51. THE SPY – James Fennimore Cooper
52. THE HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES – Nathaniel Hawthorne
53. A CHRISTMAS CAROL – Charles Dickens (http://christmascarol/index.htm)
54. THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK – Alexandre Dumas
55. SILAS MARNER – George Eliot
56. TOILERS OF THE SEA – Victor Hugo
57. SONG OF HIAWATHA – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
58. THE PRAIRIE – James Fennimore Cooper
59. WUTHERING HEIGHTS – Emily Bronte (http://wutheringheights/index.htm)
60. BLACK BEAUTY – Anna Sewell
61. THE WOMAN IN WHITE – Wilkie Collins
62. WESTERN STORIES – Bret Harte
63. THE MAN WITHOUT A COUNTRY – Edward Everett Hale
64. TREASURE ISLAND – Robert Louis Stevenson
65. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN–AUTOBIOGRAPHY
66. CLOISTER AND THE HEARTH – Charles Reade
67. THE SCOTTISH CHIEFS – Jane Porter
68. JULIUS CAESAR – William Shakespeare
69. AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS – Jules Verne
70. THE PILOT – James Fennimore Cooper
71. THE MAN WHO LAUGHS – Victor Hugo
72. THE OREGON TRAIL – Francis Parkman
73. THE BLACK TULIP – Alexandre Dumas
74. MR. MIDSHIPMAN EASY – Frederick Marryat
75. THE LADY OF THE LAKE – Walter Scott
76. THE PRISONER OF ZENDA – Anthony Hope (http://prisonerofzenda/index.htm)
77. THE ILIAD – Homer (http://iliad/index.htm)
78. JOAN OF ARC
79. CYRANO DE BERGERAC – Edmond Rostand
80. WHITE FANG – Jack London
81. THE ODYSSEY – Homer (http://odyssey/index.htm)
82. THE MASTER OF BALLANTRAE – Robert Louis Stevenson
83. THE JUNGLE BOOK – Rudyard Kipling
84. THE GOLD BUG ETC – Edgar Allan Poe
85. THE SEA WOLF – Jack London
86. UNDER TWO FLAGS – Ouida
87. A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM – William Shakespeare
88. MEN OF IRON – Howard Pyle
89. CRIME AND PUNISHMENT – Dostoyevsky
90. GREEN MANSIONS – W H Hudson
91. THE CALL OF THE WILD – Jack London
92. MILES STANDISH – Longfellow
93. PUDD'NHEAD WILSON – Samuel L Clemens
94. DAVID BALFOUR – Robert Louis Stevenson
95. ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT – Erich Maria Remarque (http://allquiet/index.htm)
96. DANIEL BOONE – John Bakeless
97. KING SOLOMON'S MINES – H Rider Haggard
98. THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE – Stephen Crane (http://redbadgeofcourage/index.htm)
99. HAMLET – William Shakespeare
100. MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY – Nordhoff & Hall (http://mutinyonthebounty/index.htm)
101. WILLIAM TELL – Frederick Schiller
102. THE WHITE COMPANY – Arthur Conan Doyle
103. MEN AGAINST THE SEA – Nordhoff & Hall
104. BRING 'EM BACK ALIVE – Frank Buck
105. FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON – Jules Verne
106. BUFFALO BILL
107. KING OF THE KHYBER RIFLES – Talbot Mundy
108. KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE
109. PITCAIRN'S ISLAND – Nordhoff & Hall
110. A STUDY IN SCARLET – Arthur Conan Doyle
111. THE TALISMAN – Walter Scott
112. THE ADVENTURES OF KIT CARSON
113. THE FORTY FIVE GUARDSMEN – Alexandre Dumas
114. THE RED ROVER – James Fennimore Cooper
115. HOW I FOUND LIVINGSTONE – Henry M Stanley
116. THE BOTTLE IMP – Robert Louis Stevenson
117. CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS – Rudyard Kipling
118. ROB ROY – Walter Scott
119. SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE – Richard Harding Davis
120. HURRICANE – Nordhoff & Hall
121. WILD BILL HICKOK
122. THE MUTINEERS – Charles Boardman Hawes
123. FANG AND CLAW – Frank Buck
124. THE WAR OF THE WORLDS – H G Wells (http://waroftheworlds/index.htm)
125. THE OX–BOW INCIDENT – Walter Van Tilburg Clark
126. THE DOWNFALL – Emile Zola
127. THE KING OF THE MOUNTAINS – Edmond About
128. MACBETH – William Shakespeare
129. DAVY CROCKETT
130. CAESAR'S CONQUESTS – Julius Caesar
131. THE COVERED WAGON – Emerson Hough
132. THE DARK FRIGATE – Charles Boardman Hawes
133. THE TIME MACHINE – H G Wells (http://timemachine/index.htm)
134. ROMEO AND JULIET – William Shakespeare
135. WATERLOO – Chatrian Erckmann
136. LORD JIM – Joseph Conrad
137. THE LITTLE SAVAGE – Frederick Marryat
138. A JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH – Jules Verne (http://journeycenterearth/index.htm)
139. REIGN OF TERROR – G A Henty
140. ON JUNGLE TRAILS – Frank Buck
141. CASTLE DANGEROUS – Walter Scott
142. ABRAHAM LINCOLN (http://abrahamlincoln/index.htm)
143. KIM – Rudyard Kipling
144. FIRST MEN IN THE MOON – H G Wells
145. THE CRISIS – Winston Churchill
146. WITH FIRE AND SWORD – Henry K Sienkiewicz
147. BEN HUR – Lew Wallace
148. BUCCANEER
149. OFF ON A COMET – Jules Verne
150. THE VIRGINIAN – Owen Wister
151. WON BY THE SWORD – G A Henty
152. WILD ANIMALS I HAVE KNOWN – Ernest Thompson Seton
153. THE INVISIBLE MAN – H G Wells
154. THE CONSPIRACY OF PONTIAC – Francis Parkman
155. THE LION OF THE NORTH – G A Henty
156. THE CONQUEST OF MEXICO – Bernal Diaz Del Castillo
157. THE LIVES OF THE HUNTED – Ernest Thompson Seton
158. THE CONSPIRATORS – Alexandre Dumas
159. THE OCTOPUS – Frank Norris
160. THE FOOD OF THE GODS – H G Wells
161. CLEOPATRA – H Rider Haggard
162. ROBUR THE CONQUEROR – Jules Verne
163. THE MASTER OF THE WORLD – Jules Verne
164. THE COSSACK CHIEF – Nikolai Gogol
165. THE QUEEN'S NECKLACE – Alexandre Dumas
166. TIGERS AND TRAITORS – Jules Verne
167. FAUST – Goethe
168. IN FREEDOM'S CAUSE – G A Henty
169. NEGRO AMERICANS

Gravity
12-17-2014, 02:34 AM
Great list, Blac! I forgot I had about twenty of those! :D