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HILARIOUS PARODIES OF CLASSIC LITERATURE REIMAGINED WITH CLASSIC COMICS Masterpiece Comics adapts a variety of classic literary works with the most iconic visual idioms of twentieth-century comics. Dense with exclamation marks and lurid colors, R. Sikoryak's parodies remind us of the sensational excesses of the canon, or, if you prefer, of the economical expressiveness of c HILARIOUS PARODIES OF CLASSIC LITERATURE REIMAGINED WITH CLASSIC COMICS Masterpiece Comics adapts a variety of classic literary works with the most iconic visual idioms of twentieth-century comics. Dense with exclamation marks and lurid colors, R. Sikoryak's parodies remind us of the sensational excesses of the canon, or, if you prefer, of the economical expressiveness of classic comics from Batman to Garfield. In "Blond Eve," Dagwood and Blondie are ejected from the Garden of Eden into their archetypal suburban home; Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray is reimagined as a foppish Little Nemo; and Camus's Stranger becomes a brooding, chain-smoking Golden Age Superman. Other source material includes Dante, Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, bubblegum wrappers, superhero comics, kid cartoons, and more. Sikoryak's classics have appeared in landmark anthologies such as RAW and Drawn & Quarterly, all of which are collected in Masterpiece Comics, along with brilliant new graphic literary satires. His drawings have appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, as well as in The New Yorker, The Onion, Mad, and Nickelodeon Magazine.


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HILARIOUS PARODIES OF CLASSIC LITERATURE REIMAGINED WITH CLASSIC COMICS Masterpiece Comics adapts a variety of classic literary works with the most iconic visual idioms of twentieth-century comics. Dense with exclamation marks and lurid colors, R. Sikoryak's parodies remind us of the sensational excesses of the canon, or, if you prefer, of the economical expressiveness of c HILARIOUS PARODIES OF CLASSIC LITERATURE REIMAGINED WITH CLASSIC COMICS Masterpiece Comics adapts a variety of classic literary works with the most iconic visual idioms of twentieth-century comics. Dense with exclamation marks and lurid colors, R. Sikoryak's parodies remind us of the sensational excesses of the canon, or, if you prefer, of the economical expressiveness of classic comics from Batman to Garfield. In "Blond Eve," Dagwood and Blondie are ejected from the Garden of Eden into their archetypal suburban home; Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray is reimagined as a foppish Little Nemo; and Camus's Stranger becomes a brooding, chain-smoking Golden Age Superman. Other source material includes Dante, Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, bubblegum wrappers, superhero comics, kid cartoons, and more. Sikoryak's classics have appeared in landmark anthologies such as RAW and Drawn & Quarterly, all of which are collected in Masterpiece Comics, along with brilliant new graphic literary satires. His drawings have appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, as well as in The New Yorker, The Onion, Mad, and Nickelodeon Magazine.

30 review for Masterpiece Comics

  1. 4 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    Kinda corny, sometimes pretty clever...funny in places, matching famous comics with famous literature...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mitchell Hahn-Branson

    This is a book of short comics depicting stories from classic literature written and drawn in the style of familiar comic strips and comic books, usually with characters from the comics playing the roles of characters from the classics. This is a brilliant idea, but there are two distinct pitfalls Sikoryak has to avoid in order to make it work: It can't be a wink-wink, nudge-nudge, painfully self-aware exercise in which the characters are constantly saying, "Hoho, we're little cartoon characters This is a book of short comics depicting stories from classic literature written and drawn in the style of familiar comic strips and comic books, usually with characters from the comics playing the roles of characters from the classics. This is a brilliant idea, but there are two distinct pitfalls Sikoryak has to avoid in order to make it work: It can't be a wink-wink, nudge-nudge, painfully self-aware exercise in which the characters are constantly saying, "Hoho, we're little cartoon characters putting on Daddy's big literature boots! Aren't we all adorable and intellectual?" That joke gets old fast. At the other extreme, it can't turn into a Classics Illustrated sort of thing in which the comics characters look like themselves but fully take on the personalities of the classic characters. The novelty value of Batman just rattling off lines from Crime and Punishment would lose its novelty value after about two panels. But Sikoryak bypasses both of those dangers and instead creates something completely original, something that makes this weird idea live up to its full potential. His hybrid stories remain true to everything that's ridiculous, endearing, and true about the comics, and they illuminate the greatness and profundity (and occasional silliness) of the classics. For example, take the rendition here of poor Gregor Samsa in Kafka's The Metamorphosis, with his outer insect state reflecting his inner alienation and existential crises. Through Sikoryak's twisted lens, we get a Kafka/Charles Schulz mashup in "Good Ol' Gregor Brown," in which the poor transformed fellow scuttles around in the familiar yellow-and-black shirt. It makes the weirdest kind of sense, doesn't it? Not that Peanuts ever got quite as bleak as Kafka, but it is, at heart, a deeply sad comic about a sincere, put-upon kid who can never get a break. The brilliance of this juxtaposition can be summed up in one line spoken by Lucy as Gregor's sister, Grete: "GREGOR, YOU BLOCKHEAD!" There are so many other great examples—eleven of them, to be exact—in which material is skillfully matched to other material. Here's Little Nemo as Dorian Gray: "What? The portrait has changed! What a cruel expression! Um! Maybe I should apologize to Sibyl." This is a truly clever book by an artist with the utmost love and respect for works that have lasted and things that were once wrongly thought entirely disposable.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jon(athan) Nakapalau

    If you like comics and classic literature this book will make you laugh.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bruce

    I have nothing to add to the publisher's synopsis by way of review, save that I would substitute "clever mashups" for "hilarious parody." As implied by the publisher, Sikoryak is a gifted visual mimic who has (mostly) successfully redacted classic works of the literary canon. He uses verbatim dialogue in some cases and eschews it where appropriate to the context (as in the full-page Beavis & Butthead realization of Waiting for Godot in which Didi regales Gogo as a "dumbass"). I thought the m I have nothing to add to the publisher's synopsis by way of review, save that I would substitute "clever mashups" for "hilarious parody." As implied by the publisher, Sikoryak is a gifted visual mimic who has (mostly) successfully redacted classic works of the literary canon. He uses verbatim dialogue in some cases and eschews it where appropriate to the context (as in the full-page Beavis & Butthead realization of Waiting for Godot in which Didi regales Gogo as a "dumbass"). I thought the mashups worked well in most cases, though I'm not sure about the affinities of Bronte's Wuthering Heights to EC's Tales from the Crypt, especially given the more recent and strictly textual mashup inherent in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies . The weakest part of the book are Sikoryak's use of the comic book Letters to the Editor section for on-the-nose acknowledgement of his juxtaposed sources (if you're going to put the answers in the back of the book, at least offer new insight). The high point of the book for me arises from arguably it's most profound compression, namely, Moby Dick reenvisioned as an ad for a mail-order toy Pequod. The mock ad promises "hours of adventure, years of contemplation." (p. 44) Not sure whether Sikoryak accomplishes this feat himself. Masterpiece Comics is more like a groaner of a pun. Momentarily pleasurable, ultimately forgettable. It's cute.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Desiree Koh

    What a delight, what a lark! Being a Victorian literature geek and a comic book nerd, how much fun was it to read some of my favorite works interpreted as pulp and classic strips? My favorite was The Heights, a 1950s dimestore rag portrayal of the Emily Bronte gothic epic - just an example of how well Sikoryak thought out the parallels and literal allusions between classic works of literature and comic art symbolism. I don't typically endorse watering down the great classics, but with a kryptoni What a delight, what a lark! Being a Victorian literature geek and a comic book nerd, how much fun was it to read some of my favorite works interpreted as pulp and classic strips? My favorite was The Heights, a 1950s dimestore rag portrayal of the Emily Bronte gothic epic - just an example of how well Sikoryak thought out the parallels and literal allusions between classic works of literature and comic art symbolism. I don't typically endorse watering down the great classics, but with a kryptonite of intelligence and a superhero pep of verve, armed with nerves of steel, I could brave myself for this allusionary adventure. Looking forward to the Little Orphan Annie adaptation of Oliver Twist.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    "Doing classic literature as comics so kids will understand it, man" is as old as the comics medium, so it's fun for someone like Sikoryak to come along and do the whole thing with a wink and a nudge. Thus, "the Stranger" becomes "Action Camus" (after "Action Comics") with the absurdity of Superman emitting existential, miserable one-liners as he's led to the guillotine, while "the Scarlet Letter" becomes "Lil' Pearl" by way of "Little Lulu." While most are played for lulz, "Wuthering Heights" w "Doing classic literature as comics so kids will understand it, man" is as old as the comics medium, so it's fun for someone like Sikoryak to come along and do the whole thing with a wink and a nudge. Thus, "the Stranger" becomes "Action Camus" (after "Action Comics") with the absurdity of Superman emitting existential, miserable one-liners as he's led to the guillotine, while "the Scarlet Letter" becomes "Lil' Pearl" by way of "Little Lulu." While most are played for lulz, "Wuthering Heights" was BORN to be rendered as the E.C. Comics pastiche that it appears here as, complete its gruesome "Tales from the Crypt"-worthy climax (English majors, you know what I"m talking about).

  7. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    Classic literature told through the guise of classic comic strips: Kafka's Metamorphosis by way of Peanuts: Scarlet Letter by way of Little Lulu; Macbeth by way of Mary Worth; Dante's Inferno through the Double Bubble Gum comics, and others. Surprisingly, the plots of the stories are accurately presented, just a different and fun medium. Note of Caution: These are definitely Not For Children. The stories are not bowdlerized. For example, Blondie and Dagwood tell the story of Adam and Eve with fu Classic literature told through the guise of classic comic strips: Kafka's Metamorphosis by way of Peanuts: Scarlet Letter by way of Little Lulu; Macbeth by way of Mary Worth; Dante's Inferno through the Double Bubble Gum comics, and others. Surprisingly, the plots of the stories are accurately presented, just a different and fun medium. Note of Caution: These are definitely Not For Children. The stories are not bowdlerized. For example, Blondie and Dagwood tell the story of Adam and Eve with full frontal male and female nudity. Part of the fun for me is seeing comics that don't exist any more, like "Little Lulu', again. For what it is, it definitely deserves 5 stars.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    A great collection of comics by Sikoryak, and a must have if you didn't read the strips when they were being printed in places like Raw. Brilliant in that they don't adapt the classics, but rather comment and engage them, making it work on something like a half dozen levels for any reader familiar with the stories and comics he uses to tell them.

  9. 5 out of 5

    James

    A friend informed me of the existence of this work and I must thank him heartily. The work has several fine details going for it, including art which gloriously mimics and parodies the work of Jim Davis, Charles Schulz, and countless others. While some had more impact on me than others – a character like Bat-Man as the protagonist in Crime and Punishment was far more enjoyable than the Tales from the Crypt / Bronte mashup – this is, perhaps, more linked to my fondness for Dostoevsky over Bronte. A friend informed me of the existence of this work and I must thank him heartily. The work has several fine details going for it, including art which gloriously mimics and parodies the work of Jim Davis, Charles Schulz, and countless others. While some had more impact on me than others – a character like Bat-Man as the protagonist in Crime and Punishment was far more enjoyable than the Tales from the Crypt / Bronte mashup – this is, perhaps, more linked to my fondness for Dostoevsky over Bronte. Mister Sikoryak brilliantly gives us comic sources that imitate everything from comic books to comic strips and even the old Bazooka Joe comics from gum wrappers. For his literary sources, he chooses a fine mix of literature from around the world, truly showing that our classics are global in source – the aforementioned Dostoevsky and Bronte, but also Oscar Wilde, Nathaniel Hawthorn, Voltaire, Dante, and Shakespeare. The merging of the aforementioned graphic sources and the literary classics are not without flaw, but are all solid and purposeful – sometimes eliciting humor and sometimes reminding us that these formats are not completely opposite – the creators of all these formats are artists with stories to tell in their own right. It seems apparent that the creator – as he did graphics and stories which parody both comic and literature alike, it seems ill fitting to bill him just as author – has a genuine interest and passion for both the classics and the more modern comics and graphic novels which are around today. Though akin to Classics Illustrated, this is much more parody and satire, with adjustments made to fit the story to the need of the art, a la Ziggy being mashed up with Candide. It is here that Mr. Sikoryak proves his best form – as he shows in his “Masterpiece Queries” which mimic the letters to the editor pages of comics, he is quite intentional about how he mashes and blends the work in that he purposely selects his literature to mesh with a comic that has some similarities to allow one to think about how the literary structure of the latter might well mesh with the former. The concept of Bat-Man in the world of Dostoevsky does not seem too farfetched as both exist in the realm of crime writing, for instance. Such links and connection prove valuable in the work that promises both “parody and profundity in one package.” Though not for everyone, this will be good for those classic literature people who want a good chortle or two or for those comic fans who lament the fact that Classics Illustrated took itself too seriously. For both crowds, they will naturally gravitate to their own interests – it is doubtful Batman fans will rejoice as much for the Crypt of Bronte as they do for the Dostoevsky Comics, nor will the Dostoevsky fans find as much humor in the Hawthorn mash up of Hester’s Little Pearl as they do in the Dostoevsky work. Still, Sikoryak proves he is artist, wit, and mimic in this book and while one may not find the urge to constantly reread it, it is worth a look for those interested in the comics of old or the literary classics.

  10. 5 out of 5

    James

    R. Sikoryak’s “Masterpiece Comics” is an inspired mash-up, combining classic works of literature with classic comic book and comic strip characters. At their best, the stories unite shared themes underlying each work. “Blond Eve” settles the Bumsteads in the Garden of Eden, where Dagwood’s open gluttony and Blondie’s innocent curves subject them to the raging wrath of Mr. Dithers. It’s fun to watch Sikoryak connect the dots. Garfield’s selfishness takes a sinister turn as he tempts Jon Arbuckle R. Sikoryak’s “Masterpiece Comics” is an inspired mash-up, combining classic works of literature with classic comic book and comic strip characters. At their best, the stories unite shared themes underlying each work. “Blond Eve” settles the Bumsteads in the Garden of Eden, where Dagwood’s open gluttony and Blondie’s innocent curves subject them to the raging wrath of Mr. Dithers. It’s fun to watch Sikoryak connect the dots. Garfield’s selfishness takes a sinister turn as he tempts Jon Arbuckle into damnation in a retelling of Faust. Superman sneers through his downfall for “shooting an Arab” in Action Camus. Batman—complete with an axe on his chest in place of his traditional symbol (Sikoryak is careful with trademarks)—rationalizes the murder of his pawnbroker. Each tale is paired with painstaking execution, as Sikoryak’s adaptable style lets him showcase the grace notes of the artists he mimics. His Little Nemo/Dorian Gray spoof showcases Winsor McCay’s immaculate detail; his pairing of Charlie Brown and “Metamorphosis” employs Charles Schulz’s simple, evocative lines. A few of the stories seem more like retelling than reinvention, namely his Tales from the Crypt take on “Wuthering Heights” and his pairing of Little Lulu with “The Scarlet Letter.” Unfortunately, these are two of the longer stories in the book, and they come off as stylized recaps. But most of the stories work, and all of them are inspired. For fans of classic works in both mediums, “Masterpiece Comics” offers plenty of smiles and some smug recognition as well.

  11. 4 out of 5

    The_Mad_Swede

    R. Sikoryak has done something quite ingenious in this volume. He has opted to retell works of classic (not classical) works of literature in comics form. However, rather than aiming for straight adaptations, Sikoryak uses the style and characters of specific classic comics for each retelling, e.g. 1950s EC Comics for the retelling of Brontë's Wuthering Heights in "The House-Keeper's Tale (in The Crypt of Brontë) and early Batman stories from Detective Comics for the retelling of Dostoyevsky's C R. Sikoryak has done something quite ingenious in this volume. He has opted to retell works of classic (not classical) works of literature in comics form. However, rather than aiming for straight adaptations, Sikoryak uses the style and characters of specific classic comics for each retelling, e.g. 1950s EC Comics for the retelling of Brontë's Wuthering Heights in "The House-Keeper's Tale (in The Crypt of Brontë) and early Batman stories from Detective Comics for the retelling of Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment in Dostoyevsky Comics (in which Batman plays the role of Raskol). This naturally lends itself to levels of parody, which Sikoryak uses beautifully, but he is also providing insightful readings of the original literary works and the comics he draws upon for style and (visual) characters. This is something which arguably anyone with a joint interest in classic literature and the comics medium (as well as questions of adaptation and parody) should take a look at. Clever and enjoyable.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Erik

    Definitely one of the top ten graphic novels of 2009, Sikoryak’s clever amalgamation of major comic books tropes and styles with classic novels and characters from world literature is an amazing read that leaves no doubt that he is one of comic-dom’s most brilliant creators living today. (And to think that I hadn’t heard of him until I picked this up just recently.) Imagine Garfield as Christopher Marlowe’s Faust if Jim Davis had drawn it as a cartoon strip, Wuthering Heights as a Tales from the Definitely one of the top ten graphic novels of 2009, Sikoryak’s clever amalgamation of major comic books tropes and styles with classic novels and characters from world literature is an amazing read that leaves no doubt that he is one of comic-dom’s most brilliant creators living today. (And to think that I hadn’t heard of him until I picked this up just recently.) Imagine Garfield as Christopher Marlowe’s Faust if Jim Davis had drawn it as a cartoon strip, Wuthering Heights as a Tales from the Crypt multi-parter, Little Lulu as Pearl in The Scarlet Letter, Batman as Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment, and the white-haired busy-body Mary Worth recast as Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare’s infamous tragedy – to name but a few of Sikoryak’s cleverly executed and near-perfect spoofs. If he has more “masterpieces” on the way, I will be more than happy to snatch them up in a New York minute.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mike Jensen

    For over a century pop culture writers have taken classic stories and changed them just enough so that audiences and readers could not recognize that they were swiped from Homer, Shakespeare, and Dickens. Sikoryak stakes the ground in-between this and adaptation. It is obvious that he is using classic sources, in fact it is one of the selling points, but he also recasts familiar comic strip and book characters to play the leads. Batman becomes Dostoyevsky’s murderer in a Detective Comics version For over a century pop culture writers have taken classic stories and changed them just enough so that audiences and readers could not recognize that they were swiped from Homer, Shakespeare, and Dickens. Sikoryak stakes the ground in-between this and adaptation. It is obvious that he is using classic sources, in fact it is one of the selling points, but he also recasts familiar comic strip and book characters to play the leads. Batman becomes Dostoyevsky’s murderer in a Detective Comics version of Crime and Punishment, and the Little Lulu characters tell the story of The Scarlet Letter. The bits are uneven in quality, but the best are very smart indeed. Readers of late fifties and early sixties DC comic books will also enjoy the house ads and letter pages where Sikoryak uses a smart device to attribute the sources of his work.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Very funny, I may be the EXACT audience for this collection, as I adore books and classic literature, but don't mind some poking fun of them, and I am familiar with the newspaper comics enough to get those jokes (thank you comics curmudgeon!) Teens would probably find this book awesome, but I wonder if they would be familiar with Mary Worth and Tales from the Crypt. The knowledge isn't necessary, but it does add an extra level of fun and funniness. My favorite was the Tales from the Crypt/Wuther Very funny, I may be the EXACT audience for this collection, as I adore books and classic literature, but don't mind some poking fun of them, and I am familiar with the newspaper comics enough to get those jokes (thank you comics curmudgeon!) Teens would probably find this book awesome, but I wonder if they would be familiar with Mary Worth and Tales from the Crypt. The knowledge isn't necessary, but it does add an extra level of fun and funniness. My favorite was the Tales from the Crypt/Wuthering Heights. For a book I hated in high school, and never want to read again, this was a nice refresher, leaving in all the exciting, applesauce-throwing bits while taking out a couple hundred boring pages.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ab

    A great book for the literati, literature-minded, previous English majors, you name it! You've got Dostoyevsky's Crime & Punishment in a "Batman" comic form, The Scarlet Letter in "Little Pearl" comic form, Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus is played out through "Garfield", Wuthering Heights is told through a "Tales from the Crypt Keeper" strip, and it goes on. Highly entertaining for a literature geek . . . even the "advertisements" that accompany comic books have literature metaphors pl A great book for the literati, literature-minded, previous English majors, you name it! You've got Dostoyevsky's Crime & Punishment in a "Batman" comic form, The Scarlet Letter in "Little Pearl" comic form, Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus is played out through "Garfield", Wuthering Heights is told through a "Tales from the Crypt Keeper" strip, and it goes on. Highly entertaining for a literature geek . . . even the "advertisements" that accompany comic books have literature metaphors planted within. Great fun!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    Witty and delightful, especially for those of us who tend to lean more towards literature than comics. This really does show the power of comics, the breadth of the medium. The shorter pieces - the parody of Candide and The Stranger - are the strongest, because I think Sikoryak is more expressive here. He's not as bogged down in fully representing a long and complex story, but rather captures the essence of a classic work of literature, distills it down to it's recognizable elements and then run Witty and delightful, especially for those of us who tend to lean more towards literature than comics. This really does show the power of comics, the breadth of the medium. The shorter pieces - the parody of Candide and The Stranger - are the strongest, because I think Sikoryak is more expressive here. He's not as bogged down in fully representing a long and complex story, but rather captures the essence of a classic work of literature, distills it down to it's recognizable elements and then runs nuts with it. Very well done.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    In a year where the brain dead PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES mashup sold oodles and publishers sold their souls to crap out the next zombie/monster/classic mashup (okay, I’m speaking in hyperbole…publishers have no souls), R. Sikoryak’s insanely funny, smart, and deep (yes, deep!) collection of comic/classic mashups is the kind of book to be read and reread and you’d still not catch all the brilliant metaphors and links to themes of both classic lit and classic comic. That, or just delight in In a year where the brain dead PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES mashup sold oodles and publishers sold their souls to crap out the next zombie/monster/classic mashup (okay, I’m speaking in hyperbole…publishers have no souls), R. Sikoryak’s insanely funny, smart, and deep (yes, deep!) collection of comic/classic mashups is the kind of book to be read and reread and you’d still not catch all the brilliant metaphors and links to themes of both classic lit and classic comic. That, or just delight in Charlie Brown as Gregor Samsa, or Garfield as Mephistopheles.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Michael Wells

    The canon as comic book. Rather than "illustated classics", these are wonderfully clever parodies that use masterful take-offs on classic comics. Ziggy as Candide. Little Nemo as Dorian Gray. Superman as the Stranger from Camus. There's a great retelling of Genesis using Blondie and Dagwood. And a rockin version of Wuthering Heights done as a Tales From the Crypt EC Horror comic. It's clever, the comics are spot on... The only problem is that there's not enough of it. But rest assured, I'm sure The canon as comic book. Rather than "illustated classics", these are wonderfully clever parodies that use masterful take-offs on classic comics. Ziggy as Candide. Little Nemo as Dorian Gray. Superman as the Stranger from Camus. There's a great retelling of Genesis using Blondie and Dagwood. And a rockin version of Wuthering Heights done as a Tales From the Crypt EC Horror comic. It's clever, the comics are spot on... The only problem is that there's not enough of it. But rest assured, I'm sure volume two must be in the works. It's just too good...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Katie Bruce

    Fun interpretations of literary classics (from the story of Adam and Eve to Wuthering Heights to Kafka) as portrayed by classic comic book characters. I particularly enjoyed the letter "question and answer" portion at the end of each section which explained Sikoryak's thoughts and reasons behind why he chose which comic book characters to tell which stories. Being familiar with these stories seems helpful, although there were several I was not familiar with and I enjoyed their comic book versions Fun interpretations of literary classics (from the story of Adam and Eve to Wuthering Heights to Kafka) as portrayed by classic comic book characters. I particularly enjoyed the letter "question and answer" portion at the end of each section which explained Sikoryak's thoughts and reasons behind why he chose which comic book characters to tell which stories. Being familiar with these stories seems helpful, although there were several I was not familiar with and I enjoyed their comic book versions just the same.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Christiane

    This book was so cool! Sikoryak takes literary classics like The Scarlet Letter, Crime and Punishment, and The Metamorphosis and re-tells them in the style of classic comics! Anyone who's loved Little Lulu will enjoy her as "Pearl" in "Red Letter Days"; her mom plays Hester and Tubby plays Hester's long lost husband! And poor old Charlie Brown makes a perfect Gregor Samsa. I'd give this book to older kids if it weren't for the Creation story with Dagwood and Blondie in their pre-sin state of nak This book was so cool! Sikoryak takes literary classics like The Scarlet Letter, Crime and Punishment, and The Metamorphosis and re-tells them in the style of classic comics! Anyone who's loved Little Lulu will enjoy her as "Pearl" in "Red Letter Days"; her mom plays Hester and Tubby plays Hester's long lost husband! And poor old Charlie Brown makes a perfect Gregor Samsa. I'd give this book to older kids if it weren't for the Creation story with Dagwood and Blondie in their pre-sin state of nakedness, not something I actually needed to see on Dagwood Bumstead!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Derek Royal

    I'm usually not one for careless superlatives, but this is the greatest! A brilliant work of comics adaptation, translating not only the classic works of literature themselves, but also the classic comics used as scaffolding to retell the stories. Sikoryak chooses comics close or pertinent to the literary themes in his adaptations, so that the medium definitely becomes part of the message. Outstanding!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Christian Lipski

    Perfect! Classics of literature told through classics of comics: "Wuthering Heights" as an EC horror comic. "Faust" as a Garfield comic, The book of Genesis as a Blondie comic, Dante's "Inferno" as a series of Bazooka Joe comics... and so much more. The art is dead-on in its reproduction of the original strips, yet the tone and message of the underlying stories are preserved. A treat!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Classic pieces of literature re-interpreted through classic strips - the Garden of Eden starring Dagwood and Blondie, Dante's Inferno starring Bazooka Joe, etc. - Sikoyak does a good job aping the different visual styles and fitting their humor into the context of the classic he's referencing. It's not great, but it's kinda cute.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rich F

    Interesting mash-ups of classic literature and newspaper comics. The Charlie Brown/Kafka comic that I first saw in The Graphic Canon stood as my favorite of the bunch, although The Scarlet Letter was also very good (as were others).

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Knight

    "Where classics and cartoons collide" ...Not a fan.

  26. 4 out of 5

    David

    Interesting idea but not really that interesting

  27. 5 out of 5

    Erik Graff

    My Dad lives in East Dundee, Illinois, right along the Fox River, and I spent most of elementary school nearby, just north of the Meadowdale Shopping Center, back when the family couldn't afford anything like a riverside home. One day when I was about eight we were in town together, at the drugstore, on the same steet where, years later, they would film part of Road to Perdition. Whatever his business was, Dad, as was his wont, was browsing--a lengthy process of comparison pricing. I was browsin My Dad lives in East Dundee, Illinois, right along the Fox River, and I spent most of elementary school nearby, just north of the Meadowdale Shopping Center, back when the family couldn't afford anything like a riverside home. One day when I was about eight we were in town together, at the drugstore, on the same steet where, years later, they would film part of Road to Perdition. Whatever his business was, Dad, as was his wont, was browsing--a lengthy process of comparison pricing. I was browsing too, going through the comic book racks. I was already addicted: DC heroes, Donald Duck (the only tolerable Disney creature), Classic Comics, Mad Magazine, Tales from the Crypt. Dad, finished with his business, had crept up behind me, and, while watching, had worked himself up into a lather: "You're not going to buy that trash anymore!" he announced. I argued, probably cried. Didn't get anything that day, but was back the next, or perhaps the day after, now with Mom. The comic buying and reading continued until junior high school. Sikoryak's Masterpiece Comics is a comedic cross between Classic Comics' renditions of literary masterpieces and the various characters and styles of other series ranging from DC's Superman (Camus, The Stranger) and Batman (Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment), to, yes, Tales from the Crypt (Bronte's Wuthering Heights) and Charles Schultz's Peanuts (Kafka's Metamorphosis). The humor is mild, insider stuff. You have to know the novels as well as the comic strips to appreciate it. Otherwise, the art is PG-13, the Edenic nudity of Dagwood and Blondie in Genesis including visible genitalia in all innocence.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Susan Chapek

    Loved it! Comic books were a rare treat for me when I was a kid, and the funny pages an obsession. In this collection, each comic is a top-notch homage to one classic comic and one literary masterpiece. My three favorite examples: The Scarlet Letter as a Little Lulu comic; Kafka's Metamorphosis as a Peanuts comic; Waiting for Godot as performed by Beavis and Butthead. The "casting" of the characters from the referenced comic is hysterical, the artwork terrific, and the story in most cases would s Loved it! Comic books were a rare treat for me when I was a kid, and the funny pages an obsession. In this collection, each comic is a top-notch homage to one classic comic and one literary masterpiece. My three favorite examples: The Scarlet Letter as a Little Lulu comic; Kafka's Metamorphosis as a Peanuts comic; Waiting for Godot as performed by Beavis and Butthead. The "casting" of the characters from the referenced comic is hysterical, the artwork terrific, and the story in most cases would serve as well as Cliff's Notes. Thanks to R. Sikoryak for many laughs and a lot of nostalgia.

  29. 4 out of 5

    George Marshall

    It's artfully done- Sikoryak is a very competent stylist and mimic- and I enjoyed it, but ultimately this is a one gag book built around a single formula. And it revels in the a fatal weakness of modern comics for self-reference...the last thing we need is another comic about comics or comic writers- we need the talent to concentrate on expanding the frontiers not closing them off. It's all very knowing and ironic, but it rather makes me yearn for the innocence of the original golden age comics It's artfully done- Sikoryak is a very competent stylist and mimic- and I enjoyed it, but ultimately this is a one gag book built around a single formula. And it revels in the a fatal weakness of modern comics for self-reference...the last thing we need is another comic about comics or comic writers- we need the talent to concentrate on expanding the frontiers not closing them off. It's all very knowing and ironic, but it rather makes me yearn for the innocence of the original golden age comics that did not pretend to be anything more than they were.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Buried In Print

    This review was deleted following Amazon's purchase of GoodReads. The review can still be viewed via LibraryThing, where my profile can be found here. I'm also in the process of building a database at Booklikes, where I can be found here. If you read/liked/clicked through to see this review here on GR, many thanks.

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