Thursday, June 20, 2013

Hidden Gems: Marvel Classic Comics #8

Marvel's attempts at a Classics Illustrated knock-off was pretty hit and miss. The first batch of these were mostly, if not all, reprints of adaptations produced by Vincent Fago for Pendulum Press. While the covers are generally quite strong, the interior artwork and the awkward word balloons made for a bait and switch experience. This adaptation of Moby Dick, however, is an exception. I read the novel for the first time earlier this year and am happy to report that this telling manages to capture all of Melville's exciting atmosphere. Much of the credit goes to Alex Nino's pencils, which are perfectly suited to this kind of tale. The integration of the words are also done in a unique and seamless manner. Compare this to the Dracula issue and you'll see what I mean. This is certainly one of the best issues of this series that I've read, and fans of the book will find it to be a nice companion piece. Oh yeah, the Gil Kane cover is all kinds of awesome, isn't it?


Edo Bosnar said...

As I recall, the Time Machine adaptation was quite good as well, also featuring art by Alex Nino.

Scott M said...

That one was indeed quite good with a great Kane cover. I am also a fan of the Invisible Man adaptation.

Four-Color Kid said...

All the Alex Nino issues are a treat. My favorite is the TIME MACHINE as well (wish I could get my hand on Dell's adaptation of the great Rod Taylor movie with art by Alex Toth!)

My second favorite is issue #12 with Nino's adaptation of 'The Three Musketeers'.

I bought an almost complete set of this series a couple of years ago. And was surprised that all of them were 52 pages giants with no ads or publicity pages. It was all art!

But like you said Scott, under those gorgeous Gil Kane covers is more often than not, bland, uninspired art, mostly by filipino artists, a style for which I never developped a taste (except for Nino and maybe Nestor Renondo).

A pleasant exception was issue # 28 where among the 3 Edgar Allan Poe short stories is 'The Cask of Amontillado' with gorgeous art by Michael Golden! (too bad it's only 9 pages because the rest of the issue is krap!)