The Adapted Victor Hugo

 ADVH   (NBM, 2004)

™ and © Victor Hugo

OK, a show of hands: How many people would like to see the works of a 19th century French poet adapted into comics by European artists largely unknown in America?

Um, is this mike working?

Hmm. Not an easy sell. Combining comics and classic literature never is. But, through its ComicsLit line, NBM makes a convincing argument for potential readers to give sequentialized classic lit a try, and this new volume is the latest case in point.

This collection not only beautifully adapts 13 of Victor Hugo’s poems, from the emotional to the political, but it makes them accessible in every way imaginable. Each adaptation is short, so it won’t test the patience of uncultured readers. The artists’ use of various genres, from anthropomorphism to science fiction, makes for an unexpectedly diverse package that’s hard not to like. And each adaptation is preceded by the text of Hugo’s poem, allowing those unfamiliar with his work to absorb the emotion and meaning and to form their own mental picture before experiencing the artist’s interpretation.

This is exactly the kind of thing needed to get people, including kids, exposed to classic literary works.

— Jim Johnson

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#1 Hardcover

 
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 Victor HugoEfix, Théo Ebel, Gwendel Lemercier, Obion, Eric Nosal, Antoine Ronzon, Isaac Wens, Alain Sirvent, Estelle Meyrand, Alfredo P. Alcala, Benoít Frebourg, Laurent Andoin, François Duprat