Thursday, November 26, 2015

Poe 1959, Pt. 1

(Continued from Poe 1958, Pt. 4)

MAD  46
High Flown Balloons Dept.:  "THE RAVEN"

Incredibly-- 5 years after Harvey Kurtzman tackled "THE RAVEN" in EC's
MAD #9 (Feb'Mar'54), Frank Jacobs tackled it AGAIN in MAD #46 (Apr'59).

In fact, I have found no less than 5 different versions of 'THE RAVEN" in EC's MAD over the years.  And if you read all the way through this project, you will see ALL of them!  And more...

The artist this time is one of the greatest artists in the history of the medium.  What, you think I'm making this up?  NOT A BIT OF IT!  The artist in question is WALLACE WOOD, whose work appeared in pretty much every issue of EC's MAD from its very beginning until sometime in the early 60s --when some unspeakable thing occured between him and editor Albert B. Feldstein, which we will-- uncharacteristically enough-- NOT be discussing here at extreme and grotesque length.  Just take my word for it, SEE?  Nyah.

Of course, by this time, EC's MAD had evolved from a regular-sized color comic to a B&W magazine format.  But-- you KNEW that-- didn't you?  (PLEASE tell me you knew that!  No, it can't possibly be that anybody didn't knew that-- er, KNOW that!)

And for those who are keeping count.... this was EC's 8th foray ito POE.

So much for the hyperbole (or is that metaphor?).
As Stan Freberg once said...
     "And now, ON widda da SHOW!"

MAD  46
cover by KELLY FREAS   (EC  /  April 1959)
"THE RAVEN"  /  Version 2
Adaptation by Frank Jacobs  /  Art by WALLACE WOOD
MAD SUPER SPECIAL  36
cover by KELLY FREAS   (EC  /  Fall 1981)
Copyright (C) EC.

Scans of MAD #46 interior supplied by "Pappy"
     with special thanks!
All other scans from the GCD site.

Restorations by Henry R. Kujawa

For more:
Read about Edgar Allen Poe at Wikipedia.

Read about EC Comics at Wikipedia.

Read about Kelly Freas at Wikipedia.
Visit the Kelly Freas website!
Read about Frank Jacobs at Wikipedia.
Read the Wally Wood page at Wikipedia.
Visit The Mad Comics Of Wally Wood blog!
Visit Booksteve's Horray For Wally Wood blog!
Read my DAREDEVIL blog article to learn the truth about what really went on
     during Wood's brief time on this 60s series!
 
Read about Basil Rathbone at Wikipedia.
Read about Vincent Price at Wikipedia.
Read about Christopher Lee at Wikipedia.

Read about The Raven at Wikipedia.
Read the complete poem at the Poetry Foundation site.

     Audio:
Hear the Basil Rathbone recording!
See the Vincent Price performance!
Hear the Christopher Lee recording!

     Comics:
Read the Harvey Kurtzman / Will Elder RAVEN adaptation!
Read the Wally Wood RAVEN adaptation!
Read the Mort Drucker RAVEN adaptation!
Read the Frank Springer RAVEN adaptation!
Read the Nico Rosso RAVEN adaptation!

Read the 2 George Woodbridge RAVEN adaptations!
Read the Richard Corben RAVEN adaptation!
Read the Peter Cappiello RAVEN adaptation!
Read the Paul Coker, Jr. RAVEN adaptation!   (coming soon!)

Read the Steve Ditko RAVEN story!
Read the Jeff Bonivert RAVEN adaptation!

     Misc:
Read the Wally Wood HOUSE OF USHER adaptation!   (coming soon!)
Read the Wally Wood RAVEN adaptation!

Read the Wally Wood 20,000 LEAGUES parody!
Read my Wally Wood DAREDEVIL article at this very blog!

See my Edgar Allan Poe overview at this very blog!

(Continued from Poe 1960, Pt. 1)

Poe 1958, Pt. 4

(Continued from Poe 1958, Pt. 3)

MONDIAL AVENTURES  29  /  ALBUM GIGANTE  39
"LES AVENTURES DE SIR ARTHUR GORDON PYM"  /
"A NARRATIVA DE SIR ARTHUR GORDON PYM"
     (IN COLOR  w/ English Translation  /  Part 4)

The Société Parisienne d'Édition or SPE, was a French publisher that existed under various names from the end of the 19th Century.

MONDIAL AVENTURES  ("World Adventures") was their own version of Gilberton's CLASSICS ILLUSTRATEDThe series ran 30 titles from 1954 to 1959, including the works of such notable writers as Fenimore Cooper, Victor HugoAlexandre Dumas and Robert Louis Stevenson;  oddly enough, especially given it was a French company, they didn't include Jules Verne in their run.  However, they did one story by Edgar Allan Poe-- his ONLY full-length novel!

I'm including a bonus gallery of illustrations by various artists over the decades.

"ARTHUR GORDON PYM" by unknown   (1838 ?)
"ARTHUR GORDON PYM" by Police Newson   (1884)
"THE WRECK OF THE GRAMPUS" by Robert Swain Gifford   (1884)
"ARTHUR GORDON PYM" by Frederick Simpson Coburn   (1902)
"ARTHUR GORDON PYM" by Rene Clarke
     (Limited Editions Club  /  New York  /  1930)

"ARTHUR GORDON PYM" by Roc Riera Rojas
     (??  /  Spain  /  19??)
"ARTHUR GORDON PYM" by unknown
     (SHONEN JUMP  /  Japan  /  1969)
"ARTHUR GORDON PYM" by unknown   (Dacia  /  Hungary  /  1972)
"ARTHUR GORDON PYM" by unknown   (Penguin English Library  /  1975)
"ARTHUR GORDON PYM" by Oscar Zarate   (Bruguera  /  Spain  /  1981)
"ARTHUR GORDON PYM, or the journey along a whiskey bottle"
     by Enrike Gimeno   (2004)
"ARTHUR GORDON PYM" by Trattoglia   (2010)
"ARTHUR GORDON PYM" by Broadview Press (artist unknown)   (2010)
"ARTHUR GORDON PYM Map" by Violet Blast   (2012)
"ARTHUR GORDON PYM" by Carles Grau   (2013)
"RICK PARKER" by Carles Grau   (2013)
"ARTHUR GORDON PYM" by David Lupton   (2015)
"ARTHUR GORDON PYM" by Rado Javor   (2015)
"ARTHUR GORDON PYM" by AbyssWatchers   (2016)
"ARTHUR GORDON PYM" by unknown   (date unknown)
"ARTHUR GORDON PYM" by unknown   (20??)
"ARTHUR GORDON PYM" by unknown   (20??)
"ARTHUR GORDON PYM" by unknown   (20??)
"ARTHUR GORDON PYM" by Kevin Thomas   (2015)
Copyright (C) the various artists.

     Scans of "Arthur Gordon Pym" by:
Police Newton (1884) from the Peru.com site,
Robert Swain Gifford (1884) from the All Posters site,
Frederick Simpson Coburn (1902) from the SFF Audio site,
Trattoglia (2010) from the Deviant Art site,
Violet Blast (2012) from the Deviant Art site,
David Lupton (2015) from the David Lupton site,
Rado Javor (2015) from the Deviant Art site,
Abyss Watchers (2016) from the Deviant Art site,
unknown (date unknown) from the Biblio Filo Enmascarado site,
unknown (20??) from the Disrecognized Space site,
unknown (20??) from The Casual Observer site,
unknown (20??) from the El Pajaro Burlon site, and
Kevin Thomas (2015) from the Kevin Thomas site.

For More:
Read about Edgar Allen Poe at Wikipedia.

Read about The Société Parisienne d'Édition at Wikipedia.
See the complete list of Mondial Aventures at the Bedes d'Antan site!
See the Willy & Yves Groux page at the Lambiek Comiclopedia site.

See more art by Trattoglia at the Deviant Art site.
Buy the Broadview Press edition at their site.
See more art by Riera Rojas via Google Images.
See more art by Enrike Gemino at his blog.
See more art by Violet Blast at the Deviant Art site.
See more art by Carles Grau at the Si molesto,em quedo!!... blog.
See more art by David Lupton at the David Luptom.com site.
See more art by Rado Javor at the Deviant Art site.
See more art by Abyss Watchers at the Deviant Art site.

Read about THE WEIRD CIRCLE radio show at Wikipedia.

Read about THE NARRATIVE OF ARTHUR GORDON PYM OF NANTUCKET
     at Wikipedia.
Read article about the racism in the novel at the Death And Taxes Mag site.
Read the complete novel at the XRoads.Virginia.Edu site.

Hear the ARTHUR GORDON PYM audio book!
Hear THE WEIRD CIRCLE episode!

Read the Yves & Willy Groux ARTHUR GORDON PYM adaptation!
     (Coming soon:)
Read the Editorial Sea/Navaro ARTHUR GORDON PYM adaptation!
Read the Cesar Lopez Vera ARTHUR GORDON PYM adaptation!
Read the Novedades Editores ARTHUR GORDON PYM adaptation!
Read the Enrique Alcatena ARTHUR GORDON PYM adaptation!

See my Edgar Allan Poe overview at this very blog!

(Continued from Poe 1959, Pt. 1)

Poe 1958, Pt. 3

(Continued from Poe 1958, Pt. 2)

MONDIAL AVENTURES  29  /  ALBUM GIGANTE  39
"LES AVENTURES DE SIR ARTHUR GORDON PYM"  /
"A NARRATIVA DE SIR ARTHUR GORDON PYM"
     (IN COLOR w/ English Translation / Conclusion)

The Société Parisienne d'Édition or SPE, was a French publisher that existed under various names from the end of the 19th Century.

MONDIAL AVENTURES  ("World Adventures") was their own version of Gilberton's CLASSICS ILLUSTRATEDThe series ran 30 titles from 1954 to 1959, including the works of such notable writers as Fenimore Cooper, Victor HugoAlexandre Dumas and Robert Louis Stevenson;  oddly enough, especially given it was a French company, they didn't include Jules Verne in their run.  However, they did one story by Edgar Allan Poe-- his ONLY full-length novel!

The comic, created in France in 1955, was delayed; it was published in Brazil in 1958, a year before it finally appeared in France in 1959!

Following the terrible "cliffhanger" moment when the 3 survivors contemplate cannibalism, the comic version once more "tones things down" for the kiddies by skipping ahead to a scene from the novel some 4 days later, when Arthur suddenly realizes they have a way out.  In the book, this realization came after they ate a fellow survivor (who in this version had been swept overboard in the storm), rather than before!!

What follows after that feels as if it belongs in an entirely separate story, giving one the feeling that Poe was improvising and making this up as he went, perhaps with no clear idea in mind of where this story was supposed to be going.

MONDIAL AVENTURES  29
cover by YVES & WILLY GROUX
(Société Parisienne d'Édition  /  France  /  1959)
ALBUM GIGANTE  39
cover by ANTONIO EUZEBIO NETO
(Editora Brasil America Limitada  /  Brazil  /  January 1958)
"A NARRATIVA DE SIR ARTHUR GORDON PYM"
     ("THE NARRATIVE OF ARTHUR GORDON PYM OF NANTUCKET")  /  Version 1  /  Adaptation by William Groux  /  Art by WILLY & YVES GROUX
Page 32  /  "And now... the EPIC conclusion!"
Page 33
Page 34
Page 35
Page 36
Page 37
Page 38
Page 39
Page 40
Page 41
Page 42
Page 43
Page 44
Page 45
Page 46
Before I began this project, I'd read the opinion that this story didn't have a proper conclusion, but simply STOPPED dead.  Now that I've read the comic-- AND the novel-- I can say with certainty-- that's correct.

The entire structure of this story makes no sense to me.  You have more than 2/3rds of the novel dealing with the nightmarish events on The Grampus, including a scene of cannibalism (cut from the comic version).  Then Arthur and Dick are finally rescued (yes-- Augustus actually DIED in the novel from earlier wounds before that scene arrives) and the remainder of the book concerns The Jane Guy.  It seems to me these should have been 2 separate books.

Some of the most tremendously interesting and exciting scenes from the novel are brushed over in the comic, such as the crew spending several weeks among the natives who decide to MASSACRE them just before they leave.  Some 9,000 natives attack the mere 6 men left onboard the ship, and when they set fire to it, 1,000 of them are killed when the magazine explodes.  This is barely hinted at in the comic.  Arthur & Dick spend 3 weeks stuck atop that rock (not just 1), during which they find and explore an underground chamber which may be man-made, may be marked up with a mysterious ancient alphabet, and may predate history.  This isn't even mentioned.

Further, the last 2 pages of the comic are completely NEW!  Although the "prologue" of the novel does reveal that Arthur and Dick somehow made it back to civilization, it's not even hinted at how.

So much build-up leading NOWHERE must have been frustrating to a lot of people.  It's no wonder then, I suppose, that decades later, no less than 3 writers felt compelled to write SEQUELS to this story, in varying attempts to fill in the blanks, explain or explore the themes and locations further.  This includes Jules Verne's "THE SPHINX OF THE ICE FIELDS" (1897), Charles Romyn Dake's "A STRANGE DISCOVERY" (1898), and H.P. Lovecraft's "AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS" (1936).

In addition, it struck me that the sequence where The Jane Guy passes through the ice fields, continues south and finds the temperature going UP instead of down and they discover a tropical island, may well have inspired "Pal-U-Don" in Edgar Rice Burroughs' "THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT" (1924).

Scene from "THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT" (1976) as the submarine is pushing through the icy Antarctic Ocean.
Further, the description in the final chapter where they continue even further southward, it becomes very dark and the air is constantly filled with ash and dust, suggests to me a volcano-like opening to the center of the Earth, as seen in Burroughs' "AT THE EARTH'S CORE" (1914) and particularly its sequels.  Burrough's "Pellucidar" also influenced the Lovecraft story!

I have not read any of these sequels or possible spin-offs, but the very fact that Lovecraft did one suggested to my mind, as I read the sequence about the underground chamber, that the natives, far from merely murdering the entire crew simply because they were afraid of anything WHITE, may have been COMPELLED to do so by the "Elder Gods" of Lovecraft's "Cthulu" stories.  It seems to me these creatures bent on conquering the Earth would not only wish to enslave all of mankind, but would not want them to have any technology-- hence the seemingly POINTLESS destruction of The Jane Guy.

And finally, the discovery of the ancient underground chamber that predated known civilization-- in Antarctica-- seems to me like it may well have influenced a far more recent sci-fi movie-- "ALIENS VS. PREDATORS" (2004).
Don Bearden has been in contact with the Classics Comics Store in England, attempting to interest them in re-printing this comic, and using MY version with the English translation and new COLOR.  In line with that, I've created a new version of the original French cover, removing and replacing the text on it at no small effort.
Copyright (C) Société Parisienne d'Édition  &  Yves & Willy Groux.
English Translation & New Color Copyright (C) 2016 Henry R. Kujawa.

Scan of MONDIAL AVENTURES #29 from the Ebay site.
Scans of ALBUM GIGANTE #39 by "Netto" from the www.GuiaEBAL.com site
     supplied by Don Bearden with special thanks!
Thanks to Toni Rodrigues for identifying the cover artist
     of ALBUM GIGANTE #30!

Restorations by Henry R. Kujawa

For more:
Read about Edgar Allen Poe at Wikipedia.

Read about The Société Parisienne d'Édition at Wikipedia.
See the complete list of Mondial Aventures at the Bedes d'Antan site!

Read about THE WEIRD CIRCLE radio show at Wikipedia.

Read about THE NARRATIVE OF ARTHUR GORDON PYM OF NANTUCKET
     at Wikipedia.
Read "Antarctica And Mars In Early Genre Fiction" by Jeff Deischer
     at the ERB Zine site.
Read the complete novel at the XRoads.Virginia.Edu site.

Hear the ARTHUR GORDON PYM audio book!
Hear THE WEIRD CIRCLE episode!

Read the Yves & Willy Groux ARTHUR GORDON PYM adaptation!
     (Coming soon:)
Read the Editorial Sea/Navaro ARTHUR GORDON PYM adaptation!
Read the Cesar Lopez Vera ARTHUR GORDON PYM adaptation!
Read the Novedades Editores ARTHUR GORDON PYM adaptation!
Read the Enrique Alcatena ARTHUR GORDON PYM adaptation!

See my Edgar Allan Poe overview at this very blog!

Don't miss the BONUS GALLERY of ILLUSTRATIONS up next!

(Continued from Poe 1958, Pt. 4)