Monday, October 15, 2012

African-American Classics: Graphic Classics Vol 22 edited by Tom Pomplun

Often, graphic novel adaptations of classic literary works struggle to stand on their own, appearing as watered down versions of greats.  Thankfully, that is not at all the case in this top-notch collection.  Modern African-American comic writers and artists have adapted a slew of classic stories and poems by America’s earliest African-American authors, including W.E.B. Dubois, Zora Neale Hurston, and Paul Lawrence Dunbar, and turned them into engaging and dynamic comics in their own right.  From a haunting adaptation of Jean Toomer’s “Becky” by Mat Johnson and Randy DuBurke, to a spare and dreamy “On Being Crazy” illustrated by Kyle Barker, this solid anthology offers something for everyone.  Its use as a tool in analyzing how different texts address similar themes or in comparing versions of the same story told in diverse media, may be of specific interest to teachers of English Language Arts. --Regan Schwartz

Pomplun, Tom. African-American Classics: Graphic Classics Vol 22. Mount Horeb: Eureeka Productions, 2011. Print.

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