cover image Poe: Stories and Poems

Poe: Stories and Poems

Gareth Hinds. Candlewick, $14 trade paper (120p) ISBN 978-0-7636-9509-5

Having previously created rich graphic adaptations of The Odyssey, Beowulf, and several of Shakespeare’s works, Hinds brings a handful of Poe’s poems and short stories to grisly visual life. Focusing on seven of the writer’s most famous pieces—including “The Masque of the Red Death,” “The Raven,” and “The Cask of Amontillado”—Hinds uses distinct visual styles to draw out the mood and tone for each. Full-page charcoal panels amplify an atmosphere of bleak despair in “The Raven,” while screaming red display type (“thub dub thub dub”) creates a growing sense of mania in “The Tell-Tale Heart.” And although “The Pit and the Pendulum” opens in near-total darkness, the horrors of the captive’s situation gradually becomes clearer as Hinds lets dim light in. In a neat detail, each story opens with a legend indicating recurring themes (death, fire, and scary sounds in “The Bells”) so readers know what to expect; Hinds further reflects on and contextualizes each story in endnotes. Hinds doesn’t sugarcoat the blood and gore in these stories and poems—each haunting sequence is rife with tension and dread. Ages 12–up. (Aug.)