Publisher: Udon Entertainment
Release: October 17th 2017
I received an advanced copy of Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allen Poe from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Edgar Allen Poe’s stories have been transformed into almost every media possible, so it should come as no surprise that he’s finally made his way into manga form. Five of his most famous works are included in this novel, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado, The Masque of the Red Death, The Raven, and the Fall of the House of Usher. This book is releasing at the perfect time of year, being out and available on the shelves by Halloween.
The Tell-Tale Heart is the story of a man going mad and murdering an older gentleman he lives with. This story is truly creepy and eerie and is really enhanced by the imagery accompanying it. The face of the man shows his emotions (and lack of sanity) in such a way that it brings the story to a whole new level.
The Cask of Amontillado is probably my favorite of Poe’s works, and is about a man driven by the concept of getting revenge on a man who has slighted him. There’s a lot of play of words going on in this story (for example the two characters in the story have vastly different ideas of what a mason is). The story is both beautiful and disturbing, as is the artwork that accompanies it.
The Raven is possibly Poe’s best known work, and is a poem about a man descending into madness at the loss of his lover. It’s a poem that has almost a musical quality to it, and which artwork compliments perfectly.
The Masque of the Red Death is about a Prince’s desperate attempts to stave off mortality (represented as the plague called the Red Death) by shutting himself and his court into a lavish and isolated abbey. This story is very much an allegory about death and its inevitability, and flows very well with the help of artwork to tell the story.
The Fall of the House of Umber is a perfect example of Poe’s totality (where every detail and event is connected to the rest), it’s the tale of a man who rushes to the aid of his side friend, only to discover that things are worse than he believed. Events descend into madness as the emotional state of the characters takes its toll. This story translates superbly into manga form, and flows very smoothly with the details being translated into a more visual sense.
This novel would be perfect for both people who are new to Poe’s works, as well as for long-time fans of his. Stacy King flawlessly translated Poe’s works into manga, making as few changes to the stories (usually just trimming them down) as possible. The effect enhances the stories being told, blending his spine-tingling tales with visual evocative images. I’ll confess I was only able to read one story a night, as I found them so intense and so beautiful I couldn’t continue to the second right away.