Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Countdown to Halloween Spooky Books - Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

The very first "horror" comic I can remember reading was actually an adaptation of a story by Robert Louis Stevenson. Pendulum Press released a series of illustrated classics in hardcover and I was introduced to a number of notable authors in these black & white comics. Out of all of them, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is the most memorable to me, mainly due to the fine artwork by Nestor Redondo. I did not know it at the time, but Redondo was no stranger to the genre having worked on a number of titles for DC in the 70's - House of Secrets, The Phantom Stranger, Weird War Tales, and Swamp Thing to name but a few. To this day, there's one splash page in particular that comes to mind whenever the a subject of Jekyll & Hyde come up.

I understand some believe comic adaptations of literary treasures at best provide an easier alternative to reading the original work and at worst degrade the material they are based on, but I had the opposite experience. I still enjoy stylized versions of classic stories and I believe they can open the door for younger readers. This particular series of books has been long out of print and is not easy to find, however Marvel reprinted this specific tale in Marvel Classics Comics #1.

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