Written by Charles Dickens
Adapted and Drawn by Rick Geary
Published by NBM/Papercutz
If you haven’t read GREAT EXPECTATIONS, the odds are that you slept through your freshman year of high school. However, if for some reason you’re a functional illiterate or a literary philistine, here’s the story: a young boy named Pip, raised by his nasty sister and kindly step-brother, is hired to be the playmate of a rich girl named Estella. Estella has been raised by the rich and crazy Mrs. Havisham to be the ultimate heartbreaker, and she has her effect on Pip. However, his life takes a wild turn when a lawyer shows up announcing Pip has come under the financial backing of a mysterious benefactor, with the goal that he becomes a gentleman. Along the way, he’ll learn the truth about his backer and continue trying to thaw out Estella’s heart. It’s one of the greatest works in the history of English literature. Read it, dammit.
Papercutz has acquired the back catalog of CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED with the goal of returning many of those amazing graphic adaptations to print, and GREAT EXPECTATIONS is the first of the series. It’s a wise choice for the honor, for many reasons. First, it’s a timeless, brilliant story. Second, Rick Geary’s work on it is absolutely brilliant. He truly captures the essence of Dickens’ story and characters better than just about anyone working in comics could do today. As he’s shown in his TREASURY OF VICTORIAN MURDER series, he knows the time period, offering up wonderful clothing, tapestries, and architecture in his backgrounds.
He also knows how to squeeze in as much of the full story as possible, using solid storytelling to create shortcuts when needed and expansive moments to emphasize the emotional content when required. The CLASSICS line may not all be as successful as this one, but if they’re all at least half as good, they’ll be worth buying.