The Graphic Canon

Some of you may remember a couple years ago when I went through a stint of sketching Ernest Hemingway. At the time I was working on a short comic story that’s finally been published! I just got a couple copies of THE GRAPHIC CANON vol. 3 from Seven Stories Press, which is the final volume in a set of anthologies that adapt famous writers’ works into comics and illustrations. It was also the #4 graphic novel on the New York Times Best Sellers list. I snapped a few pics of the book to show off:

The Graphic Canon vol 3     The Graphic Canon vol 3

The book is quite hefty, clocking in at about 550 pages by around 70 contributors, including Robert Crumb, Ted Rall, Dame Darcy, Peter Kuper, Lauren Weinstein, R. Sikoryak, Rey Ortega, Annie Mok, David Lasky, Mardou, Dan Duncan and, well, many more. While the first volume spanned stories from 1000 BCE to the end of the 1700’s and the second volume focussed on the 19th Century, this volume tackles the work of literary giants from the 20th Century. You want some names? How about William S. Burroughs, Franz Kafka, Virginia Woolf, Jack Kerouac, James Joyce, Thomas Pynchon, David Foster Wallace, T.S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein, Rudyard Kipling, Jack London, D.H. Lawrence, W.B. Yeats, Hermann Hesse, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, H.G. Wells, Dashiell Hammett, Aldous Huxley, Jean-Paul Sartre, John Steinbeck, George Orwell, Vladimir Nabokov, Sylvia Plath and Sigmund Freud?

For my piece, I adapted a newspaper article that Ernest Hemingway wrote for the Toronto Star in 1922, entitled “Living on $1000 a Year in Paris.”  It’s 8 pages of Hemingway explaining how cheap it was for expatriates like himself to live in France at that time. I definitely switched into heavy-research mode for parts of it as I tried to make sure I drew things as accurately as possible; whether it be the bridges of Paris, the hotel Ernest & Hadley lived in at the time, the Shakespeare & Company bookstore or even the details of dollar bills and coins of the era. That said, please forgive any flubs I may have made.

Editor Russ Kick introduces each piece and I’m amused by the bit in mine where he says “[Steve] brings a delectably crisp style to Hemingway’s guide to the City of Light.” Mmmm… delectable. A moveable feast, perhaps? To give you a bit more of a tease, here’s the first page from my comic: