Thursday, September 15, 2005

Things noticed in the comic books that adapt literature into illustrations

A writer of children's books, Eleanor Estes, has said of these comics (in the Wilson Library Bulletin), "I think that worse than the comic books that stick to their own fields are the ones that try to rehash the classics. They really are pernicious, for it seems to me that they ruin for a child the fine books which they are trying to popularize."

David Dempsey, writing in the New York Times Book Review, has said of the comic book Julias Caesar that it has "a Brutus that looks astonishingly like Superman. 'Our course will seem too bloody to cut the head off and then back the limbs . . .' says Brutus, in language that sounds like Captain Marvel. . ." and he notes that "Julius Caesar is followed by a story called "Tippy, the Terrier.' "

An adaptation from one of Mark Twain's novels has the picture of two small boys in a fight, one tearing the other's hair—a scene not the keynote of Mark Twain's novel. Inside, three consecutive pictures show a fight between two boys ("In an instant both boys were gripped together like cats") and the last picture shows one boy with a finger almost in the other's eye (the injury-to-the-eye motif again).