*Masterpiece Comics — Best of 2009

Only in comics could something this creative and unusual happen this brilliantly.

Masterpiece Comics cover
Masterpiece Comics
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Classical literature is mashed up with the lowest popular culture, and the result sheds a new light on both. R. Sikoryak has an amazing ability to mimic whatever art style is needed to make these stories work with familiar comic characters. Stories here include:

  • Adam and Eve as Dagwood and Blondie. This kicks off a strip-oriented section which also includes Dante’s Inferno with Bazooka Joe, Faust with Garfield, and Macbeth with Mary Worth.
  • Wuthering Heights told as if one of the Tales From the Crypt.
  • The Little Lulu cast acting The Scarlet Letter, my favorite of the pieces because of how well it works when it shouldn’t at all.
  • Batman starring in Crime and Punishment.
  • A combination of Little Nemo in Slumberland and The Picture of Dorian Gray.
  • If Kafka wrote Peanuts.

While readers may have seen some of these pieces before in various anthologies, this book also includes fake letter pages that make explicit some of the allusions. Sikoryak clearly knows his material, both literary and comic, which is why these pastiches work so well. And the oversized thin hardcover format, like a picture book for adults, only contributes to the unusual feel of the bizarre combinations.

6 Responses to “*Masterpiece Comics — Best of 2009”

  1. Thad Says:

    Saw this in a bookstore last night and it piqued my curiosity, but I was in a hurry (Christmas shopping) and didn’t flip through. I read Dostoevsky Comics a few years back in a Drawn and Quarterly anthology and thought it was just great.

    I’ve already got a half-dozen trades, and probably almost as many hardcovers, that I haven’t gotten around to reading yet, but this is probably going to go on my list. Thanks for the heads-up.

  2. A roundup of best-of comics lists | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment Says:

    […] Johanna Draper Carlson reviews the best comics of 2009: R. Sikoryak's Masterpiece Comics; Erika Moen and Lucy Knisley's Drawn to You; and Fred Chao's Johnny […]

  3. Best Graphic Novels of 2009 » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] Masterpiece Comics — Amazing comic/literature mashups that had me marveling at R. Sikoryak’s skill at art mimickry. […]

  4. SPX 2010 Ignatz Award Winners » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] of The Hipless Boy, but clearly someone really liked it, since it was nominated for several awards. Masterpiece Comics is a strong choice, although it seems to be playing in a different environment than the […]

  5. PWCW Best of 2009 » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] Masterpiece Comics – Brilliant mash-ups of classic literature with well-known comic characters, told with […]

  6. Geek & Sundry Adds Comic, Other Fan Vlogs » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] how everyone is welcome. Then she reads comics to us, but since it’s R. Sikoryak’s Masterpiece Comics, I don’t […]




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