Features & Reviews
"From the perspective of an educator I foresee limitless potential in bringing Classics Illustrated into the classroom. Probably well-known to teachers, parents, and librarians the Classics Illustrated titles are sure to be engaging and exciting comic book stories for an entirely new generation of readers. An A+ idea and comic book execution ebook format, I highly recommend these titles make their way into your child or student’s hands." - Dr. Katie Monnin Assistant Professor of Literacy at the University of North Florida
"Graphic Novels are beginning to earn a natural place in the classroom because the comics format has grown to encompass many thought-provoking ideas as well as providing powerful storytelling." - Stephen Weiner, Building Literacy Connections with Graphic Novels; Page by Page, Panel by Panel:
"The drawings and styles of different periods of time give children background information that they could not possibly learn in such detail by words alone." - Charlotte Stafford, pg 253 Classics Illustrated A Cultural History
Classics Illustrated was the most significant, successful, and influential publication of its kind. "They were the only comic books my parents would let me buy. - William B. Jones, Classics Illustrated A Cultural History
"Because students are more invested and engaged in graphic novels, their writing is more interesting, authentic and passionate. This provides more opportunity to facilitate writing instruction and skill development." - Maureen Bakis, The Graphic Novel Classroom: Powerful Teaching & Learning with Images
"A substantial, expanding body of evidence asserts that using graphic novels and comics in the classroom produces effective learning opportunities over a wider range of subjects and benefits various student populations, from hesitant readers to gifted students." - James Bucky Carter, Building Literacy Connections with Graphic Novels; Page by Page, Panel by Panel:
About the Author
Riverboat pilot, journalist, failed businessman (several times over): Samuel Clemens -- the man behind the figure of "Mark Twain" -- led many lives. But it was in his novels and short stories that he created a voice and an outlook on life that will be forever identified with the American character.
Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens on November 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri; his family moved to the port town of Hannibal four years later. His father, an unsuccessful farmer, died when Twain was eleven. Soon afterward the boy began working as an apprentice printer, and by age sixteen he was writing newspaper sketches. He left Hannibal at eighteen to work as an itinerant printer in New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Cincinnati. From 1857 to 1861 he worked on Mississippi steamboats, advancing from cub pilot to licensed pilot.
After river shipping was interrupted by the Civil War, Twain headed west with his brother Orion, who had been appointed secretary to the Nevada Territory. Settling in Carson City, he tried his luck at prospecting and wrote humorous pieces for a range of newspapers. Around this time he first began using the pseudonym Mark Twain, derived from a riverboat term. Relocating to San Francisco, he became a regular newspaper correspondent and a contributor to the literary magazine the Golden Era. He made a five-month journey to Hawaii in 1866 and the following year traveled to Europe to report on the first organized tourist cruise. The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Sketches (1867) consolidated his growing reputation as humorist and lecturer.
After his marriage to Livy Langdon, Twain settled first in Buffalo, New York, and then for two decades in Hartford, Connecticut. His European sketches were expanded into The Innocents Abroad (1869), followed by Roughing It (1872), an account of his Western adventures; both were enormously successful. Twain's literary triumphs were offset by often ill-advised business dealings (he sank thousands of dollars, for instance, in a failed attempt to develop a new kind of typesetting machine, and thousands more into his own ultimately unsuccessful publishing house) and unrestrained spending that left him in frequent financial difficulty, a pattern that was to persist throughout his life.
Following The Gilded Age (1873), written in collaboration with Charles Dudley Warner, Twain began a literary exploration of his childhood memories of the Mississippi, resulting in a trio of masterpieces -- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), Life on the Mississippi (1883), and finally The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), on which he had been working for nearly a decade. Another vein, of historical romance, found expression in The Prince and the Pauper (1882), the satirical A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889), and Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (1896), while he continued to draw on his travel experiences in A Tramp Abroad (1880) and Following the Equator (1897). His close associates in these years included William Dean Howells, Bret Harte, and George Washington Cable, as well as the dying Ulysses S. Grant, whom Twain encouraged to complete his memoirs, published by Twain's publishing company in 1885.
For most of the 1890s Twain lived in Europe, as his life took a darker turn with the death of his daughter Susy in 1896 and the worsening illness of his daughter Jean. The tone of Twain's writing also turned progressively more bitter. The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894), a detective story hinging on the consequences of slavery, was followed by powerful anti-imperialist and anticolonial statements such as To the Person Sitting in Darkness (1901), The War Prayer (1905), and King Leopold's Soliloquy (1905), and by the pessimistic sketches collected in the privately published What Is Man? (1906). The unfinished novel The Mysterious Stranger was perhaps the most uncompromisingly dark of all Twain's later works. In his last years, his financial troubles finally resolved, Twain settled near Redding, Connecticut, and died in his mansion, Stormfield, on April 21, 1910.
Huckleberry Finn follows a boy and a runaway slave as they make their way down the Mississippi. In a world filled with con men and slaves, Huck and Jim have only each other to rely on. Mark Twain blends brilliant satire and social commentary with breathtaking adventure, told in Huck's own wry, observant words. Beautifully illustrated, this classic, comic graphic novel captures the imagination of readers of all ages and inspires a love of literature and reading. A must-have for your digital library.
Classics Illustrated Synopsis
By William B. Jones, Author of Classics Illustrated: A Cultural History
For thirty years, from 1941 to 1971, CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED (originally known as CLASSIC COMICS) introduced GIs, bobby-soxers, and their baby-boom children to "Stories by the World's Greatest Authors"--a category that encompassed Homer's ODYSSEY and Frank Buck's BRING 'EM BACK ALIVE, Shakespeare's HAMLET and Talbot Mundy's KING--OF THE KHYBER RIFLES, Goethe's FAUST and Owen Wister's VIRGINIAN. Although the comic-book series of literary adaptations and biographies was disparaged by educator May Hill Arbuthnot and attacked by crusader Fredric Wertham, it gradually won the applause of skeptics and the affection of at least two generations.