Just one in a staggering array of small press and indie publishers in the Graphicly catalog, Campfire has distinguished itself with a robust line of literary and historical graphic adaptations. Faithful to their source material and inventive in their own right, Campfire GN’s are also a great bang for your buck. You can even try out their Wright Brothers biography for free. Literary adaptations like The Hound of the Baskervilles, Oliver Twist, Moby Dick and King Solomon’s Mines are each just $3.99 and come packaged with some lovely back-matter. Oliver Twist is a standout with some truly delightful cartooning.
Today I’d like to share and recommend two of my favorites, both from the historical end of the spectrum.
First up, an impressive biography of one of my all-time heroes Harry Houdini. Brimming with terrific anecdotes about the famed escape artist, it’s an ideal primer for anyone who’s ever been interested about the exploits and inner life of an American legend. Writer CEL Welsh hits many of the major events, including scenes from Houdini’s early life as Ehrich “Ehrie” Weiss in the late 19th century and of course his storied career as a stage performer through his untimely death in 1926. Welsh peppers facsimiles of relevant newspaper clippings and journal entries throughout, employing a young apprentice as an anchor for the nonlinear tale. Houdini’s life was a marvel and this comic captures a lot of what made him so captivating.
Another comic depicting real life events, Lewis Helfand and artist Amit Tayal’s Conquering Everest: The Story of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay is a genuinely beautiful and well-researched adventure log. Focusing on multiple expeditions and explorers of the Himalayas, it’s the perfect book for students of history, world affairs and scientific discovery. As you can see from the preview image above, Tayal references and even incorporates photography into his work, but the results are rarely jarring. Overall, the effect is quite impressive, and helps to bring a sense of grandeur and epic scope to the proceedings. The color in particular is a true highlight, making this something of a travel log in the spirit of a National Geographic pictorial. Again, one of the more compelling attempts to bring history alive.
Both titles are available in Graphicly, right this second.