The Wind in the Willows: Papercutz Resurrects Classics Illustrated

For those who may have grown up with the original Classics Illustrated (1941 to 1971), Papercutz's decision to resurrect the series, starting with a wonderful version of The Wind in the Willows, will be welcome news. Adapted by Michel Plessix, this edition (originally published in 1998 independent of the CI series) features painstakingly detailed panels while preserving the best parts of Kenneth Grahame's original book. I have to admit I was skeptical at first because the original is a childhood favorite of mine, but Plessix understands both the playfulness and the soulfulness of Grahame and his adaptation is a sheer delight from cover to cover. The greatest pleasure for me was being able to experience all of Grahame's characters in this new light, as an adult.

Albert Kanter was the visionary publisher behind the original Classics Illustrated, which ranged from titles like The Corsican Brothers to Don Quixote. I remember many of these quite clearly from my reading in the mid-1970s, the comics so worn that I no longer have them. It was my first introduction to many of these classic, canonical books--and a very entertaining one, which made me want to read the original texts.

Upcoming volumes in both the Classics Illustrated and Classics Illustrated Deluxe series include Tales from the Brothers Grimm, Great Expectations, and The Invisible Man.

Here's a full-page reproduction from Plessix's The Wind in the Willows.

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