Befittingly dark, atmospheric, and evocative.

Graphic-novel veteran Hinds turns his astute eye to Poe’s best-known tales.

After reimagining many classics including Beowulf, The Odyssey, and a smattering of Shakespeare’s plays, Hinds now takes on the poems and stories of Edgar Allan Poe. In “The Cask of Amontillado,” a dark palette suffused with ominous shadows and fiery earthen reds depicts the unnamed, white narrator as he leads foolhardy Fortunato into his own airless death. Those familiar with “The Tell-Tale Heart” will be delighted to watch the psychological drama unfold as Hinds conceptualizes the famously grisly details while playing with visually striking splashes of color to further accentuate the terror. Hinds also visualizes three of Poe’s poems: “Annabel Lee,” “The Raven,” and “The Bells,” though these poems stray from a traditional graphic-novel format, eschewing panels for expansive, page-filling illustrations with the verse text set against them. At the beginning of each piece, Hinds plainly lays out the recurring thematic elements of horror from his own “Poe Checklist”; for example “The Masque of the Red Death” warns its readers of “death, disease, and scary sounds.” Also included are historical notes about Poe and each vignette, making this volume equally valuable for classroom use or for independent reading.

Befittingly dark, atmospheric, and evocative. (Graphic adaptation. 12-adult)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8112-8

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017


Hinds adds another magnificent adaptation to his oeuvre (King Lear, 2009, etc.) with this stunning graphic retelling of Homer’s epic. Following Odysseus’s journey to return home to his beloved wife, Penelope, readers are transported into a world that easily combines the realistic and the fantastic. Gods mingle with the mortals, and not heeding their warnings could lead to quick danger; being mere men, Odysseus and his crew often make hasty errors in judgment and must face challenging consequences. Lush watercolors move with fluid lines throughout this reimagining. The artist’s use of color is especially striking: His battle scenes are ample, bloodily scarlet affairs, and Polyphemus’s cave is a stifling orange; he depicts the underworld as a colorless, mirthless void, domestic spaces in warm tans, the all-encircling sea in a light Mediterranean blue and some of the far-away islands in almost tangibly growing greens. Don’t confuse this hefty, respectful adaptation with some of the other recent ones; this one holds nothing back and is proudly, grittily realistic rather than cheerfully cartoonish. Big, bold, beautiful. (notes) (Graphic classic. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7636-4266-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010


From the Campfire Graphic Novels series

A solid introduction for budding lovers of the Bard.

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

The timeless tale of the young and disaffected Danish prince who is pushed to avenge his father’s untimely murder at the hands of his brother unfolds with straightforward briskness. Shakespeare’s text has been liberally but judiciously cut, staying true to the thematic meaning while dispensing with longer speeches (with the notable exception of the renowned “to be or not to be” soliloquy) and intermediary dialogues. Some of the more obscure language has been modernized, with a glossary of terms provided at the end; despite these efforts, readers wholly unfamiliar with the story might struggle with independent interpretation. Where this adaptation mainly excels is in its art, especially as the play builds to its tensely wrought final act. Illustrator Kumar (World War Two, 2015, etc.) pairs richly detailed interiors and exteriors with painstakingly rendered characters, each easily distinguished from their fellows through costume, hairstyle, and bearing. Human figures are generally depicted in bust or three-quarter shots, making the larger panels of full figures all the more striking. Heavily scored lines of ink form shadows, lending the otherwise bright pages a gritty air. All characters are white.

A solid introduction for budding lovers of the Bard. (biography of Shakespeare, dramatis personae, glossary) (Graphic novel. 12-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2019

ISBN: 978-93-81182-51-2

Page Count: 90

Publisher: Campfire

Review Posted Online: July 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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