By Richard Corben
Richard Corben takes on Edgar Allen Poe in this one shot from Dark Horse Comics. Celebrating the macabre and grotesque stories of Poe, Corben brings to life his interpretations of two of Poe’s most famous pieces.
Corben does a good job of staying true to Poe’s original text. Lines from The Raven act as the inner monologue of Corben’s character. The familiar story of the man longing for his lost love, Lenore, as he is visited by the grim bird who can only remind him of his heartache and loss. While Corben’s adaptations don’t add much to the stories already established by Poe, he still brings a fresh and interesting visual representation to the page. The haunting images of the raven and the stranger in red add gravity and darkness to Poe’s already depraved work.
While the art was good, Corben’s style left some of the characters looking more like caricatures of human beings rather than real people. His facial expressions were twisted, painful looks that made the characters’ fear emanate from the page. The wide eyed, gaping maw look, however, did get old half-way through the book, and by the end the fear of the characters felt stale. Overall, Corben does a good job in capturing the feeling of dread and darkness that pervade these stories.
Corben’s adaptations of Poe’s stories offered a good read, especially on Halloween. It added a spooky side to the books that I read this week.