I was raised on classic literature. My father made me read Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, Robinson Crusoe, David Copperfield, Swiss Family Robinson, Tarzan, The Works of Arthur Conan Doyle, as well as many others, and as I grew older I remained a voracious reader. Even though I despised school (enough so that I jumped ship early and went on to a GED and college) I loved the library (school and public) and used it to further my reading adventures. Then I found used bookstores and my fate was truly sealed…
Sci-fi became my passion, Verne, Asimov, Clark. But there was horror as well. Bradbury, King, Barker. And of course Poe.
Poe is one of those authors that was a part of my consciousness for as long as I can remember. Always interesting, always creepy, never safe, I love his stuff. His works have appeared in various forms throughout the years and I’ve devoured them all, always hungry for another author’s or artist’s take on the master.
Enrica Jang and Jason Strutz took on one of my favorites. Cask (as well as Tell-Tale Heart) has stuck in my brain, never fading, since the first time I read it. It’s a story I love to return to and I’m impressed that they (Jang and Strutz) captured that feeling I get when I read Cask.
Though it’s a short story, it’s one you feel viscerally. I’m always amazed that I identify so readily with both Montressor and Fortunato. I remember being very confused by that as a boy. It made sense (I thought) to feel for Fortunato his fate is such a frightening one. I didn’t like the fact that I found myself rooting for Montressor when he’s laying the bricks, could it be that even though the insult is never explained his frustration, his anger at Fortunato is so palpable I almost made it my own?
I also love that Enrica adapted the story economically, where there could have been caption boxes filled with exposition she let the characters (and the art) tell the tale. As for the art? I’ve been a fan of Jason (Strutz) for years and his talent just keeps growing.
Let me show you…
Though we all know the story I specifically didn’t use sequential pages. The book flows beautifully. Buy this one. Buy it digitally. Buy it in print. Either way I think you’ll love it.
5 out of 5
And now, the why. Enrica and Jason took on this task of adapting Cask as a way to get you (and me!) interested, and excited, for their upcoming oringinal graphic novel “The House of Montresor”. To quote from the Red Stylo site…
This original full-length graphic novel by this same creative team is a sequel to Poe’s Cask of Amontillado, expanding and continuing the tale of murder and vendetta that the villainous Montresor only hints at, fifty years after committing the perfect crime.
“Murder is only perfect when everyone knows you got away with it.”
After seeing what they’ve done with Cask, I can’t wait to see The House of Montressor! It’s due out next year and you can be sure I’ll be posting about it when it hits. Till then? Read and reread Cask. That’s what I’m going to do.