Graphic Classics: Louisa May Alcott

Tom Pomplun, Editor and various. Eureka $17.95 (144p) ISBN 978-0-9787919-8-8

To give readers a broader understanding of classic writers, books in this ongoing series include adaptations of several varied stories. In this case, a highly abridged version of Alcott's most famous work, Little Women , shares the volume with her lesser known tales of bizarre passion and revenge. The March sisters in Little Women enjoy play-acting melodramas, and the stories Jo March begins writing are over-the-top gothics; however, generations of readers have loved the novel for its picture of a warm, supportive family, and that's largely lost in this rushed condensation. Other stories focus on the consequences of frustrated isolation. A lonely girl gushes love for her pet fly. An aging operatic diva takes ghastly revenge on the rival who's supplanted her while also stealing her lover. And in what the atmospheric art by Arnold Arre makes the most impressive of all, in “Whisper in the Dark” a young heiress is locked away in an insane asylum so that her dastardly guardian can steal her fortune after she is driven mad. Despite uneven quality in scripts and art—contributors include Trina Robbins, Anne Timmons, Molly Crabapple, and Shary Flenniken—the collection succeeds in giving a wider view of Alcott's output. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 11/30/2009
Release date: 12/01/2009
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