Video of “Somewhere or Other” by Christina Rossetti

A very sensitive video adaptation by Jim Avis of my comics interpretation of Christina Rossetti’s poem “Somewhere or Other.” I find this one makes particularly effective use of Avis’s signature zooming technique. The terrific reading is by “the Wordman” and the musical accompaniment is a piece by Charles Ives.

This comics adaptation, along with 23 others, can be found in my new book, Poems to See By: A Comic Artist Interprets Great Poetry (Plough Publishing): https://www.plough.com/en/topics/culture/poetry/poems-to-see-by  

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Video of “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden

Another video interpretation by Jim Avis of my comics interpretation of the poem “Those winter Sundays” by the American poet Robert Hayden (who by the way studied under W. H. Auden, who was featured in the last Jim Avis video here). The images are accompanied by a wonderful reading of the text by the poet himself.

This comics adaptation, along with 23 others, can be found in my new book, Poems to See By: A Comic Artist Interprets Great Poetry (Plough Publishing): https://www.plough.com/en/topics/culture/poetry/poems-to-see-by  

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“La Belle Dame Sans Merci – A Tone Poem” by Fletcher Cunniff

A very cool and haunting musical composition by Fletcher Cunniff, inspired by John Keats’s 1819 poem, “la Belle Dame Sans Merci.” The track integrates an old vinyl recording of an exquisitely quavering, Mid-Atlantic-accented reading by the American character actor Theo Marcuse (1920-1967) and is accompanied in this video (also by Cunniff) with illustrations from my comics interpretation of the poem.

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Video of “Musée des Beaux Arts” by W. H. Auden

Another great video interpretation by Jim Avis, this time of my comics adaptation of W. H. Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts.” The reading is by the poet himself. Auden’s oft-anthologized poem is thought to obliquely criticize the Western powers’ ignoring of Hitler’s expansion into Czechoslovakia in 1938, and the comic and the animation include references to other instances when Western public opinion largely turned its back on foreign tragedies that its government’s had largely contributed to provoking: The “death flights” employed by the Argentinian military dictatorship of 1976-1983 and the sinking of refugee ships in the Mediterranean in recent years.

This comics adaptation, along with 23 others, can be found in my new book, Poems to See By: A Comic Artist Interprets Great Poetry (Plough Publishing): https://www.plough.com/en/topics/culture/poetry/poems-to-see-by  

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“La città radiosa” (“The Radiant City”) by Vincenzo Mascolo

My adaptation of comics of a poem by the Italian poet Vincenzo Mascolo. The poem represents a section of a long poetic cycle (still in progress) titled “Orphée,” which is in turn inspired  by the modern classical album of the same name by the Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. Besides the classical myth of Orpheus, the passage I illustrated alludes to T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” the “Ville radieuse” project of Le Corbusier, the three Italian Renaissance paintings of “The Ideal City,” Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, and Dante’s Inferno (and possibly others that I didn’t pick up on!). All in a few short lines. (Scroll down to the end for an English translation)

THE RADIANT CITY

Often
we would go
through the streets
soaked
in the sewage
of the night
to seek
in the
construction site
over the border
the remains
of the ideal city
Le Corbusier’s
sketches
the detritus
of the common good
liberty
democracy
Marco Polo’s
journey
to reach
Tecla
its
starry
night’s project
that the darkness
of the underworld
conceals from you

(Based on a translation-in-progress by John Morre and Giorgia Sensi)

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“Carl Sagan: You Are a Star”

A comics introduction to the life and thought of the celebrated astronomer and science communicator Carl Sagan, written and storyboarded by Junaid Yahya. Like the “Hound of the Baskervilles” adaptation, this comic was commissioned for inclusion in the grade-school textbook Impressions (Pearson India Education Services, 2020). My thanks again to Arushi Lakhanpal and Resha Hasnain for their help throughout the creation process.

 

 

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“The Hound of the Baskervilles”

A comics introduction to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic Sherlock Holmes mystery, “The Hound of the Baskervilles.” This comic was commissioned for inclusion in the grade-school textbook Impressions (Pearson India Education Services, 2020). The script is by Junaid Yahya. Many thanks to Arushi Lakhanpal and Resha Hasnain for shepherding this project through. And a big thank you to Montreal Sherlockian Edith Pounden for her useful feedback!

 

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My first comic in Chinese

Here is the Chinese version of a promotional comic that I drew for the new MA Programme in Comics Studies at the University of East Anglia (the first English-language program of its kind in the world), which is being headed up by my dear friend Frederik Byrn Kohlert. The student in the back row at the bottom of the second page is modelled on Sanmao, a beloved Chinese manhua (comics) character  created  in  1935 by  Zhang  Leping.

A big thank you to historian of Chinese comics Nick Stember for is invaluable feedback in creating the hand-drawn Chinese characters, and for laying out the typeset characters.

 

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Video of “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers” by Emily Dickinson

Another video interpretation by Jim Avis of another of my comics adaptations of an Emily Dickinson poem. This time it’s “’Hope’ is the thing with feathers.” The musical accompaniment is by perennialEnglish. My comics adaptation, along with 23 others, can be found in my new book, Poems to See By: A Comic Artist Interprets Great Poetry (Plough Publishing): https://www.plough.com/en/topics/culture/poetry/poems-to-see-by  

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Video of “Because I could not stop for Death” by Emily Dickinson

 

Another sensitive and ingenious adaptation of one of my poetry comics by Jim Avis. This time it’s the celebrated Emily Dickinson poem, “Because I could not stop for Death.” The reading is by the great Cynthia Nixon. The comics adaptation, along with 23 others, can be found in my new book, Poems to See By: A Comic Artist Interprets Great Poetry (Plough Publishing): https://www.plough.com/en/topics/culture/poetry/poems-to-see-by  

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