Sunday, February 10, 2008

"The Incredible Mr. Poe: Edgar Allan Poe in the Comics" at The Edgar Allan Poe Museum

Posted on behalf of my good friend M. Thomas Inge, an expert not only on American Literature-based comics but also on too many other topics to recount here... [Feb. 19 Update: Note the updated information on the opening reception, below.]
In 1941, Russian immigrant Albert Lewis Kanter tried to introduce young people in the United States to fine literature by incorporating the classics into something they were already reading—comic books. In 1944, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" appeared in Kanter’s Classic Comics series, and ever since adaptations of both Poe and his works have been regular features in comic books and graphic novels, many of which will be on display April 25 to October 31 at the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia. Poe has even appeared as a comics hero himself alongside Batman and Scooby Doo.

M. Thomas Inge, Blackwell Professor of Humanities at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, and Poe Foundation trustee, has studied comic art for over forty years and published several books on the subject. His collection of comic books from childhood will form the core of the upcoming exhibition which is curated by Richmond artist Chris Semtner.

Also featured will be original artwork by such comic artists and illustrators as Rick Geary, Richard Corben, Gahan Wilson, Gris Grimly, Bill Griffith, and Patrick McDonnell, as well as proof sheets and original pages for some of the Classics Illustrated and other comic book versions loaned by collector Jim Vacca of Boulder, Colorado. An illustrated book and catalog will be available for purchase from the Museum Gift Shop with proceeds going to the Museum.

This will be the first exhibition ever devoted to the comic books and graphic narratives that have helped keep Poe’s name and works in the public eye for over sixty years. An opening reception will be held Friday evening April 25, 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., and there will also be an introductory lecture Thursday evening April 24, 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., with an Unhappy Hour, food, and music, free and open to the public. All events are open to the public. The Edgar Allan Poe Museum is located at 1914 East Main Street, Richmond, Virginia 23223, phone 804 648-5523. For more information contact Rebecca Jones at becca [at] or call toll free (888) 21EAPOE.
Image from the brilliant Michael Kupperman's equally brilliant book "Snake 'n' Bacon's Cartoon Cabaret".

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