The retelling of four classic tales as graphic novels

Earlier this year Canterbury Classics released four gorgeous new graphic novels retelling four classic stories we already know and love. The series, Dark Tales, retells, “The Hound Of The Baskervilles,” “The Call Of Cthulhu,” “Beauty And The Beast, and “Snow White,” and each one is packed from cover to cover with stunning illustrations.

Our family was sent two of the books, The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Call of Cthulhu so we could take a look and share what we thought.

Dark Tales: The Call of Cthulhu

Dark Tales: The Call of Cthulhu 

Henry Wilcox can’t ignore his dreams of an enormous green monster calling to him from an underwater alien city. He seeks the help of Professor Angell, who dies suddenly, leaving a box of research on the subject for his nephew, Francis. Francis seeks answers about his uncle’s death, and in the process uncovers evidence of a cult waiting for the Great Old Ones to return.

H. P. Lovecraft’s story of supernatural monsters deep in the Pacific is retold in graphic novel format, and, even if you already know the story, it will keep you on the edge of your seat.

The illustrator, Dave Shephard, plays a little with the structure of the story, rearranging it so this telling has more of a chronological format, with fewer flashbacks than Lovecraft used. 

Also, a few of the minor characters are left out, which may upset a purest, but I can understand why this was done. A graphic novel with around 130 pages, only has so much room and every inch of every page is packed to the brim with beautifully rendered narrative imagery.

Dark Tales: The Hound of the Baskervilles 

Dark Tales: The Hound of the Baskervilles

This classic “whodunit” story with the famous Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson is now told in graphic novel format.  Sir Charles Baskerville, master of the Baskerville estate, is found dead at the gates with a look of horror on his face. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are called in to investigate the possibility of foul play. After several false leads, they solve the mystery and reveal the truth.

Both of these editions just beg to be opened up and explored and they are an excellent way to encourage the less enthusiastic reader in your household to dive in and discover these classic tales.

The Holmes of the Dark Tales graphic novel is reminiscent of the 1930’s, 40’s, and 50’s cinematic depictions of the famous detective. He is older, brooding, and yet still constrained by his humanity.

The illustrative style itself is a clever mix of modern graphic novel with a hint of Conan Doyle era illustrations ensuring it straddles the line between the cusp of the 19th and 20th centuries and what would be considered a modern graphic style.

The other editions are:

Dark Tales: Beauty and the Beast This modern retelling of the classic fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast is told here in a graphic novel format. More than 100 pages of illustrated action, adventure, and love teach a lesson to look beyond the surface and learn to love what’s underneath.

A merchant takes shelter in a castle during a thunderstorm and ends up striking a bargain with its beastly master. His youngest daughter, Beauty, returns to the castle to live in exchange for a restoration of the family’s previous wealth. Beauty befriends Beast but longs to see her family again. He allows her to visit her former home, but when she doesn’t return at the designated time, consequences ensue.

Dark Tales: The Snow Queen  Seven vignettes in a graphic novel format make up Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Snow Queen, which depicts the struggle between good and evil.

A demon creates a magic mirror that reflects negative thoughts. His minions break it, and shards of the mirror get into the hearts and eyes of citizens all over the land. Gerda’s friend Kay is affected and is lured away by the Snow Queen to become her palace slave. Follow Gerda’s adventures in her quest to rescue her friend and restore his compassion.

These books are a terrific choice for both lovers of the classic stories who want to try a new spin, and for graphic novel fans. Discover a Dark Tale from Canterbury Classics, pick up your copy today.

Disclosure: I received the item(s) featured in this article for free in exchange for a review on this site. I only recommend products I personally use or would be happy to use and believe would be suitable for my readers. All opinions are my own, and the points of view in this post were not influenced in any way by the sponsor.