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Graphic Novel Review

Book Cover

Classics Illustrated
No. 1 - The War of the Worlds


Author: H.G. Wells
Adapted by: Harry Miller
Artist: Lou Cameron
Classic Comic Store Ltd
RRP: £2.99
ISBN: 978 1 906814 01 4
Available 02 March 2009

It is approaching the end of the 19th century. The night after a shooting star is seen streaking through the sky from Mars, a cylinder is discovered on Horsell Common in London. At first, locals approach the cylinder carrying a white flag - only to be promptly killed by an all-destroying heat-ray, as the terrifying invaders emerge. Soon the whole of human civilisation is under threat, as the powerful Martians build gigantic killing machines, tripods that destroy all in their path. The forces of the Earth, however, may prove harder to beat than they at first appear...

The Classics Illustrated series was originally printed over a 30 years period - from 1941 to 1971. It introduced generations of children to some of the most famous stories ever told. Now, Classic Comic Store Ltd is reprinting these publications so that a new generation of children can discover these classics tales.

Volume 1 is H.G. Wells's classic The War of the Worlds. Sadly nowhere in this collection are we told what the original publishing date was for this comic book edition, something that I'm sure would be of interest to the more mature reader.

The text and illustrations have dated considerably but, taking into account when the story is supposed to be set, this doesn't really detract from the collection as a whole.

At the back of this collection we also get a brief biography of Wells; themes running through the story; discussion topics; and a timeline - so that you can understand a little more about what was going on in the world at the time the original book was published. I'm assuming that these were also originally targetted at schools, and the back section are also handy as teacher's notes.

What's great about this series is that it attempts to bring some of the best literature into the homes of children who would probably never discover the original books on their own. So, once they've read the comic book and know the story, there's a panel that entices them to find the book so that they can read the original.

Certainly a comic book worth picking up.


Darren Rea

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