117. Graphic Classics Vol. 14: Gothic Classics edited by Tom Pomplun

Gothic Classics edited by Tom Pomplun
Graphic Classics, Volume 14

Rating: (4.5/5)

(US) - (Canada)

2007, Eureka Productions, 144 pgs
Age: 12+

"Five great tales of terror, danger and romance by theoriginal creators of gothic literature: 
JANE AUSTENNorthanger AbbeyA naïve girl comes of age in the gothic parody
ANNE RADCLIFFEThe Mysteries of UdolphoRomance, terror and intrigue in the archetypal gothic novel
J. SHERIDAN LE FANUCarmillaAn immortal female vampire claims her victims in the precursor to Dracula
EDGAR ALLAN POEThe Oval PortraitA story of artistic obsession 
MYLA JO CLOSSERAt the GateA canine ghost story 
Plus a rare poem by Jane Austen"

Borrowed a copy from my local library.

I wish I could have given this 5* but the last story just didn't do it for me.  Out of 5 stories and one poem, the first 4 stories are classic Gothic tales by the great authors of the genre from their period in time.  Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu was fantastic; a vampire story which influenced Stoker.  I love this prolific Victorian short story writer and this was my favourite in the collection.  Then comes Ann Radcliffe's "The Mysteries of Udolpho", a classic of the genre and considered one of the first such novels.  I haven't read the novel yet so this was fun to read, though it is such a complicated and convoluted story that adaptation only makes it more so.  Edgar Allan Poe's short piece "The Oval Portrait" is well done, then follows Jane Austen's pastiche of the genre "Northanger Abbey" which readily makes references to "Udolpho".  I'm not a fan of Austen, but I've read some of her works including this and must say I enjoyed the graphic much more than the novel!  My only complaint is the last story by Myla Jo Closser, whom I'd never heard of, entitled "At the Gate".  I wouldn't by any definition call this Gothic.  A story of dogs in Heaven.  It is a bright, happy, cheerful story (those are not elements of Gothic) and with the wealth of Gothic short stories available I'm sure a more appropriate title could have been selected for inclusion instead.  Otherwise a fine volume with the usual pleasing art and a special call out to Lisa K. Weber's excellent work on "Carmilla".