Saturday, November 17, 2012
Knockabout's INFERNO is hot stuff
A new book from cartoonist supreme Hunt Emerson is always a welcome sight and his latest work is even better than expectations. Together with writer Kevin Jackson, Hunt has produced an adaptation of Dante's Inferno, - an 88 page softback book published by Knockabout.
The original 14th Century poem that Dante wrote is said to be heavy going in places, although is apparently taught in schools. (Not at the comprehensive school I attended though, that's for sure.) To my shame I've never even attempted to read it but from all accounts this richly illustrated graphic album is an ingeniously entertaining adaptation of it.
Even if, like me, you've never read Dante's verse I'm sure you'll still find this book highly enjoyable. I know I did. Hunt Emerson has been cartooning since the 1970s and although he's always been one of the greats each new book he produces still seems to outdo the previous one in terms of detail, comedy timing, composition and sheer drawing skill. Dante's descent into the levels of Hell is depicted as a series of hilariously exaggerated scenarios in sharply delineated brush strokes. This is the standard all of us in the business need to aspire to. He makes the rest of us look like chimps scratching in the dirt with sticks. (Mine's a pint next time we meet, Hunt.)
The script by Kevin Jackson is equally amusing, reworking the ancient poem into a comedy for the ages with some brilliantly funny dialogue. This Emerson/Jackson partnership works well and I hope we'll see more books from them in the future.
In short: Dante's Inferno is the best British comic published this year. Buy it! http://www.knockabout.com/shop/