Pros: Entertaining good stories, effective illustrations, includes a number of classics.
Cons: Might be geared more towards women
The Gothic Classics Volume 14 is collection of abridged and illustrated graphic novels and short stories by Jane Austen, Ann Radcliffe, Edgar Allan Poe and other well known authors. In my experience, the Graphic Classics presents the stories in a more concise format without losing too much of the charm and the feeling of the originals. This is because good expressive illustrations can convey a lot of content in addition to the text. The Graphic Classics are typically detailed enough to capture all essential story element. I admit that unlike the other Graphic Classics I've read I had not read the classics in question beforehand. However, I believe the same to be true also in this case.
The Graphic Classics are recommended to anyone (kids or adults) who wants to quickly get an overview of the various classics before deciding which ones to read, as well as to people who just want a light version of a classic novel.
About The Gothic Classics Volume 14
The Gothic Classics Volume 14 is 144 pages and features the following short stories and novels.
I've a pain in my head, by Jane Austen; this is a very short one page story.
Carmilla, by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu; is a vampire novella originally published in 1872. A woman Laura is being visited at night, in a dream like manner, by a beautiful girl whom she later meets in real life and become friends with. Her name is Carmilla and it turns out that her friend is not so young and really a vampire. Carmilla is shown on the front page immersed in blood. In this book the story spans 40 pages.
The Mysteries of Udolpho, by Ann Radcliffe; is a Gothic romance novel from 1794 in which the heroine Emily suffers tragedies, adventures, as well as horrors before everything comes to a better end. In this story Emily sees something horrible, which is not reveled and explained until the end of the story.
The Oval Portrait, by Edgar Allan Poe; is a short story about a painter who is painting his beloved, and he might just be a little bit too passionate about his painting.
Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen; is a novel about a seventeen year old girl Catherine who experiences some dramatic adventures and a complicated romance. She likes to read Gothic novels and is obsessed by aforementioned "The Mysteries of Udolpho", which she uses to interpret much of what is happening to her.
At the Gate, by Myla Jo Closer; is a canine ghost story of the "all dogs go to heaven" kind. It was more touching than scary. The dogs that have passed are waiting for their masters in a better place.
Opinions and Thoughts on Gothic Classics Volume 14
Each page typically features half a dozen black and white illustrations accompanied by a fair amount of text, I would say more than what is typical for the Graphic Classics that I've read. However, this book is features quite a bit of content so it is necessary.
The illustrations are expressive and perhaps artistic but not extremely detailed and not in color (except the front page). However, the illustrations accomplish what they are intended to do, in capturing the characters, illustrating the scenery and buildings, and conveying the Gothic ambiance and the emotions of the characters.
The stories are not very scary, in my opinion. However, what is interesting about is that they are good classic stories that will entertain you whether they frighten you or not. Unlike the previous Graphic Classics I've read this one featured stories I had not read before and therefore it added to my knowledge about the classics. Well I've read the Oval Portrait before. Perhaps I will pick up one of these novels one day. I am saying "perhaps" because the stories appear to me to be more intended for women. However, I enjoyed the Gothic Classics Volume 14 and in general I can highly recommend it.
Finally I would add this book to Jan's (and mine as a co-host) "Graphic Novels Bust-Out (Or Write-off)". Please check it out.