Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

The Graphic Canon, Vol. 3

From Heart of Darkness to Hemingway to Infinite Jest

by Russ Kick

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Now a New York Times BESTSELLER!

The classic literary canon of Western civilization meets the comics artists, illustrators, and other artists who have remade reading in the last years of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first century in Russ Kick's magisterial, three-volume, full-color The Graphic Canon, volumes 1, 2, and 3.

Volume 3 is a nonstop barrage of comics, full-page illustrations, photography, and cutting-edge design bringing to life the literature of the twentieth century. You never know what you'll find: a Sherlock Holmes mystery, an H. G. Wells story, an illustrated guide to the Beat writers, a one-act play from Zora Neale Hurston (drawn by Milton Knight), a disturbing meditation on Naked Lunch, Rilke's soul-stirring Letters to a Young Poet, a WWI soldier's suppressed poem of war's savagery, Anaïs Nin's diaries, the visions of Black Elk, the heroin classic The Man With the Golden Arm (published four years before William Burroughs's Junky), and the postmodernism of Thomas Pynchon, David Foster Wallace, Kathy Acker, Raymond Carver, and Donald Barthelme.

The towering works of modernism are here: T. S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and "The Waste Land," Yeats' "The Second Coming" done as a magazine spread, Heart of Darkness, stories from Kafka, The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf, James Joyce's masterpiece, Ulysses, and his short story "Araby" from Dubliners, rare early work from Faulkner and Hemingway (done by artists who have drawn for Marvel), and poems by Gertrude Stein and Edna St. Vincent Millay.

You'll also find original comic versions of short stories by W. Somerset Maugham, Flannery O'Connor, and Saki (manga style), plus graphic adaptations of Lolita (and everyone said it couldn’t be done!), The Age of Innocence, Siddhartha and Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse, The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Last Exit to Brooklyn, J. G. Ballard's Crash, and photo-dioramas for Animal Farm and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Feast your eyes on new full-page illustrations for 1984, Brave New World, The Doors of Perception, Waiting for Godot, One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Bell Jar, On the Road, Lord of the Flies, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and three Borges stories.

Meanwhile, Robert Crumb's rarely seen adaptation of Nausea captures Sartre's existential dread. Dame Darcy illustrates Cormac McCarthy's masterpiece, Blood Meridian, universally considered one of the most brutal novels ever written and long regarded as unfilmable by Hollywood. Tara Seibel, the only female artist involved with the Harvey Pekar Project, turns in an exquisite series of illustrations for The Great Gatsby. And then there's the moment we’ve been waiting for: the first graphic adaptation from Kurt Vonnegut's masterwork, Slaughterhouse-Five.

For more on The Graphic Canon, visit www.thegraphiccanon.wordpress.com and follow @TheGraphicCanon on Twitter.

Collected in  

Radical Graphics
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“The Graphic Canon is startlingly brilliant.”

“This meaty slab is laced with more wit, beauty, social commentary and shock than one might expect. . . .”

“This is not only a survey of the world’s diverse artistic past, but also a breathtaking glimpse of this young medium’s incredible future.”

“An exciting new benchmark for comics!”

“Bold, brilliant. . . . By turns playful and beautiful, this visual treatment is more than entertainment; it offers a new perspective for understanding these enduring works.”

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Russ Kick is the originator of the Graphic Canon series, for which he has commissioned new work from over three hundred artists, now going into its sixth volume. The New York Times selected The Graphic Canon Volume 1 as an Editor’s Choice, and School Library Journal has called the series “startlingly brilliant.” Kick’s nonfiction anthologies, including You Are Being Lied To and Everything You Know Is Wrong, informed a whole generation of Americans about the hard truths of American politics. He created a media frenzy for being the first to publish suppressed photographs of American flag-draped coffins returning from Iraq. The New York Times dubbed Kick “an information archaeologist,” Details magazine described him as “a Renaissance man,” and Utne Reader named him one of its “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World.” His popular website AltGov2.org is active again and getting national media coverage for archiving documents that the Trump Administration has been deleting.

Other books by Russ Kick