Classics Illustrated: A Cultural History, with Illustrations

Front Cover
McFarland, 2002 - Antiques & Collectibles - 267 pages
8 Reviews
From 1941 to 1971, the well-loved yet controversial Classics Illustrated series brought abridged, comics-style versions of literary masterpieces such as Homer's Odyssey, Shakespeare's Hamlet, Goethe's Faust, and Hugo's Les Miserables to millions of children and adults worldwide. Founded by Russian Jewish immigrant Albert Kanter at the dawn of the Golden Age of comics, the series used the comic-book form to introduce young readers to the works of Melville, Dickens, Stevenson, Twain and other authors.
This work tells the story of Kanter's enterprise and examines the cultural significance of the most successful publication of its kind in the context of the times in which it was published. Attention is given to the evolving mission of Classics Illustrated to bring serious literature to popular culture; the publication's ability to stand up to the anti-comics hysteria of the early 1950s; the growth of subsidiary educational series encompassing folklore, mythology, history, and science; and the unsuccessful attempts to revive the series in the 1990s. The careers and contributions of each of the artists are covered, and the text is supplemented by quotations from exclusive interviews and correspondence with such illustrators as George Evans, Gray Morrow, Lou Cameron, Norman Nodel and Rudolph Palais. Detailed appendices provide artist attributions and the contents of each issue in every Classics Illustrated-related series. More than 200 illustrations offer a generous sample of what drew millions of readers to the World's Finest Juvenile Publication.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - joeydag - LibraryThing

This is a very dense account of the enterprise, too dense for me. Details about the publisher, the artists, the management, history, etc. I read the intro and the epilog. The idea of encouraging ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dds1981 - LibraryThing

This book was great fun for a comic nerd like me. Classics Illustrated were among some of the first comics I read, although I learned by reading this book that I was on the very tail end of the ... Read full review


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