James Smart embarks on an impressive tour of the classics in picturesTurn the entire literary canon into a three-volume, 1,300-page collection of drawings, comic strips and dioramas? It sounds like a task somewhere between the labours of Sisyphus and the Charge of the Light Brigade. Yet Russ Kick and his team have had a fine tilt at this ambitious target, producing an anthology propelled by an enthusiasm for literature, art and the bewitching new forms that can result when traditions meet.Volumes 1 and 2 emerged in 2012, and moved from the epic of Gilgamesh to Dangerous Liaisons and “Kubla Khan” to Dorian Gray, featuring a dialogue-free Beowulf, a rare Inca drama, Will Eisner’s Don Quixote and Wordsworth as an astronaut. This third volume features 84 wildly different adaptations of 20th‑century works, some collected from the past but many commissioned for this collection.It begins with Joseph Conrad, whose Heart of Darkness is represented by 10 lovely illustrations from Matt Kish, showing skulls, parasols and fragments of people in front of dream-like backdrops. It ends with Benjamin Birdie giving us a few scenes from David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, their humour and energy overhung by darkness. In between, there’s time for William …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books