Graphic Classics Volume 17: Science Fiction Classics (Graphic Classics (Eureka)) Paperback – 9 Jul 2009
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Volume 17 jumps out of the gates with a stellar cover from "The War of the Worlds" (Wells, as if you didn't know), and continues on with science fiction from sources you would not expect. Hans Christian Anderson appears to describe "In a Thousand Years". Sure, it is a bit off, but what the heck. As long as there is no Little Mermaid mentioned, I'm pretty good about it. Jules Verne gives us a futuristic vision in "In the Year 2889" that Johnny Ryan illustrates with amazing dexterity. Don't mind George Jetson though, he does know what he is doing in this day in the life of a superstar. Arthur Conan Doyle takes us into "The Disintergration Machine", and E M Forester tours us with "The Machine Shop". It really is hard to top "A Martian Odyssey" by Weinbaum/Avery and Sellas though. The classy art certainly makes this tale hard to put down.
Does one story stand above the rest? Not really, Pomplun gives readers a variety of stories that shine for different reasons. Humor, adventure, theology, and philosophy are all represented here.
The move to color puts this series over the top and readers who could not quite pick up the previous 16 books, should. While the b/w art was good, the color in the volume sparkles but does raise the price to [...] us, an increase that is worth every penny.
The War of the Worlds - HG Wells
A Martian Odyssey - Stanley G Weinbaum
The Disintegration Machine - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
In the Year 2889 - Jules Verne
The Bureau d'Echange de Maux - Lord Dunsany
The Machine Stops - EM Forster
The "editor" of the collection, Tom Pomplun, has very cleverly collected six stories, dramatically different in their natures one from the other, and arranged for them to be illustrated in equally contrasting artistic styles.
"The War of the Worlds", for example, is portrayed in a beautifully painted subdued collection of browns, blacks, greys and ambers with more realistically drawn characters similar to many of the old stories seen in "Creepy" and "Eerie" collections. "The Bureau d'Echange de Maux" is drawn in a style that, to my mind, seems almost impressionist and, in complete contrast, "In the Year 2889", is illustrated in pure cartoon style with characters that most closely resemble the children's television series, "The Jetsons".
Of the six in the collection, I had actually read the full length novel for the first three listed above. I was pleased to discover that the story line contained in this collection didn't suffer in the least as a result of the severe abridgement that this format, of necessity, demands.
In fact, I was so pleased that I'm now in a serious hunt to find used copies of the full length versions of the other three which were new to me.
Not only that ... I found this particular volume of "Graphic Classics" so diverting and so entertaining that I also intend to hunt down the previous sixteen versions and begin a little collection. Who knows ... they may appreciate in value as collectibles as some point in the future! And, in the meantime, some great reading pleasure awaits the child in me that I have discovered still enjoys reading a comic book (oops ... I mean a "graphic novel"!)
In a Thousand Years by Hans Christian Andersen
The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
In the Year 2889 by Jules Verne
A Martian Odyssey by Stanley G. Weinbaum
The Disintegration Machine by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Bureau d'Echange de Maux by Lord Dunsany
The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster
I had never read any of these classics, and I enjoyed these tales told through pictures and dialogue between the major characters. Of course some of the original story is lost in these abbreviated versions, but the main point is retained in an easy to read format.
If you're a die-hard literary type, by all means read the originals. But if you enjoy action, good illustrations, and a quick read, these science fiction classics are just what you need to converse intelligently about stories you may never have had the chance to read otherwise.
Reviewer: Alice Berger