Literary nerds unite!
The comic book universe is no stranger to the world of literature. For years, artistic bibliophiles have been publishing successful comic book adaptations of our favorite classics.
From Homer to Bradbury, you can find comic books now that take classics and make them graphic. The popular medium has introduced plenty of readers to stories which book lovers believe to be the greatest of all time. And, in return, the innovative adaptations have breathed life back into forgotten library staples weighed down by their boring reputations.
Honestly, what better way is there to convince someone to read Ulysses than to give them a comic book of the long-winded novel?
Here at ComicBook.com, we've created a list of six stunning stories all you bookish beginners should check out. These comic books are definite page-turners which take the old and make it new again.
Pride & Prejudice
If you're interested in a Regency romp, then let us introduce you to Marvel's adaptation of Pride & Prejudice.
Based on Jane Austen's acclaimed novel, Pride & Prejudice is a spot-on illustration showcasing Elizabeth Bennet's life. The comic's whimsical illustrations and shortened plot gives fans a bite-sized taste of everything good and fair about Pride & Prejudice.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife... Tailored from the adored Jane Austen classic, Marvel Comics is proud to present Pride & Prejudice! Two-time Rita Award-Winner Nancy Butler and fan-favorite Hugo Petras faithfully adapt the whimsical tale of Lizzy Bennet and her loveable-if-eccentric family, as they navigate through tricky British social circles. Will Lizzy's father manage to marry off her five daughters, despite his wife's incessant nagging? And will Lizzy's beautiful sister Jane marry the handsome, wealthy Mr. Bingley, or will his brooding friend Mr. Darcy stand between their happiness?prevnext
Fans of futuristic dystopias should already be familiar with Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. The sci-fi novel is set in a big-brother world that monitors its citizen's every move and has forbade all books. So, really, it is appropriate the author signed off on a comic book adaptation of his work.
Drawn by Tim Hamilton, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation mesmerized the keen author. The stark graphic novel creates striking images from the original novel, and it perfectly captures the eery colors depicted in Bradbury's broken world.
In 1953, Ray Bradbury envisioned one of the world's most unforgettable dystopian futures, and in Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, the artist Tim Hamilton translates this frightening modern masterpiece into a gorgeously imagined graphic novel. As could only occur with Bradbury's full cooperation in this authorized adaptation, Hamilton has created a striking work of art that uniquely captures Montag's awakening to the evil of government-controlled thought and the inestimable value of philosophy, theology, and literature.prevnext
Frankenstein: Alive! Alive!
Sci-fi fans owe a lot to Mary Shelley. The British author electrified the literary scene when she published Frankenstein, a novel that tells the story of Victor Frankenstein and his horrifying monster. The story has become one of the most iconic of all time, prompting dozens of spin-offs with various success.
Arguably, some of the best Frankenstein adaptations have come courtesy of comic books. The Dick Briefer famously adapted the horror story in the 1940s with a serial comic while DC and Marvel Comics have also produced their own iterations of the undead monster. But, when it comes to quality, it's hard to beat Bearnie Wrighton's Frankenstein Alive, Alive!
Few works by comic-book artists have earned the universal acclaim and reverence that Bernie Wrightson's illustrated version of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's Frankenstein was met with upon its original release in 1983. Nearly 30 years later, Wrightson returns to his passion project with a comic series that picks up at the end of the classic novel, hailed as one of the greatest horror stories of all time. Frequent Wrightson collaborator Steve Niles provides the script for this epic, decades in the making. While appearing to be in black and white, each page was scanned in color to mimic as closely as possible the experience of viewing the actual original art, showing off the exquisitely detailed brush work of one of the greatest living artists in comics today.prevnext
A Wrinkle In Time
Some might say A Wrinkle of Time isn't a classic yet, but there are plenty of book lovers who'd disagree. The novel, which was written by Madeleine L'Engle in 1963, tells the fantastical tale of Meg Murry as she searches for her lost father in a strange dimension. And comic book fans were lucky enough to have Hope Larson create an official graphic novel adaptation of the beloved children's story.
The simplistic comic shades the story's characters in blue and grey, leaving fans to color in the characters for themselves. A stunning interpretation of a childhood fantasy, A Wrinkle In Time reminds readers why its story captured their imagination in the first place.
The world already knows Meg and Charles Wallace Murry, Calvin O'Keefe, and the three Mrs--Who, Whatsit, and Which--the memorable and wonderful characters who fight off a dark force and save our universe in the Newbery award-winning classic A Wrinkle in Time. But in 50 years of publication, the book has never been illustrated. Now, Hope Larson takes the classic story to a new level with her vividly imagined interpretations of tessering and favorite characters like the Happy Medium and Aunt Beast. Perfect for old fans and winning over new ones, this graphic novel adaptation is a must-read.prevnext
After you read ODY-C, you'll never call antiquity boring again. The trippy comic book reimagines Homer's Odyssey - you know, that huge epic poem you were supposed to read back in high school? Helmed by Matt Fraction and Christian Ward, the creators subvert the classic story's tropes, genderbend all kinds of characters, and take fans on a thrilling intergalactic journey.
Following a character called Odyssia, ODY-C covers the events which happen as the homesick warrior travels home following a war with Trolia. In relationship to the Odyssey, the new protagonist acts as an equivalent to Odysseus while Trolia takes place of Troy. And, when you hear Odyssia is head for Ithicaa, then you should know that distant homeland stands in for Ithaca.
An eye-searing, mind-bending, gender-shattering epic science fiction retelling of Homer's Odyssey starting with the end of a great war in the stars and the beginning of a very long journey home for Odyssia and her crew of warriors. The journey to Ithicaa begins HERE, by Matt Fraction (Sex Criminals) and Christian Ward (Infinite Vacation, Olympus).prevnext
Okay, so Kill Shakespeare isn't an exact adaptation of any one piece of classic literature. Instead, the period comic combines several of William Shakespeare's most famous stories and imagines what would happen should their characters wish to kill their creator.
Published by IDW, the limited series mashes-up characters seen in plays like Hamlet, Richard the Third, Othello, and more. Kill Shakespeare follows heroes like Hamlet, Juliet, and Othello as they race against baddies such as Iago and Lady Macbeth to destroy a mysterious, reclusive wizard known as Shakespeare.
An epic adventure that will change the way you look at Shakespeare forever. In this dark tale, the bard's most famous heroes embark upon a journey to discover a long-lost soul. Hamlet, Juliet, Othello, Falstaff, Romeo and Puck search for a reclusive wizard who may have the ability to assist them in their battle against the evil forces led by the villains Richard III, Lady Macbeth and Iago. That reclusive wizard? William Shakespeare. Kill Shakespeare offers a remixed re-envisioning of the greatest characters of all-time, featuring action, romance, comedy, lust, drama and bloody violence. It is an adventure of Shakespearean proportions.prev