Review – Edgar Allen Poe’s Spirits of the Dead HC (Dark Horse)

21862Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Edgar Allen Poe
Adaptation and Art: Richard Corben
Release Date: 1st October 2014

“Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.”

We’ve seen the great works of Edgar Allen Poe’s work stand the test of time for centuries. Known for his horror genre of short stories and dark poetry, Poe’s work has been adapted into everything, including movies and television series. Now we get a fresh insight to the mind of Poe with Dark Horse Comics’ Spirits of the Dead HC.

Spirits of the Dead is a collection of all of Edgar Allen Poe’s short stories which carry the central themes of death, misery, loss and identity. From The City in the Sea to The Cask of Amontillado, Spirits of the Dead is a dark and brooding comic of mystery and suspense through the last 20 years of Poe’s life. Much of the stories are told through illustration while seamlessly weaving excerpts from Poe’s poems. Even the title, Spirits of the Dead, is a poem used at the very beginning to set the tone for the rest of the book.

The hardest thing about adaption Poe’s work is capturing the environment and atmosphere that Poe envisioned centuries ago. Poe’s stories are all about powerful imagery, and credit to Richard Corben for using an old fashioned art style of caricature faces and close-up panels as we stare into the face of death itself. I especially liked the recurring narrator drawn as a grave keeper as he re-enacted the character’s misery.

If you thought comic issues were short you’ll be surprised by how quickly these stories come and go. With each story only being about ten pages long, this collection is able to showcase more of Poe’s work without overstaying its welcome. And that’s definitely not a bad thing; the stories are short but satisfying, leaving you with enough to want more without feeling empty or disappointed by the twist.

If you are a fan of Edgar Allen Poe’s work then you should definitely check out this book. It’s an exhilarating thrill ride which dissects the dark and eerie works from the master of horror himself.

Rating: 4/5


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DWavThe Writer of this piece was: Dean Walsh
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