Dark Horse Comic announces adaptations of four more of Neil Gaiman’s Fragile Things short stories with a hardcover volume in 2019.
Winner of many awards including Hugo, Eisner, Newbery, Harvey, Bram Stoker, Locus, World Fantasy, and Nebula, Neil Gaiman is to have four tales adapted into graphic novel form. Entitled The Problem of Susan and Other Stories, all four stories will be taken from his book Fragile Things; Short Fictions & Wonders, first published in 2006. The Problem of Susan, October in the Chair, Locks and The Day the Saucers Came are his takes on “Narnia, the Apocalypse, and Goldilocks.”
The third story taken from Fragile Things and titular tale of this anthology, The Problem of Susan, was originally written for the collection ‘Flights’ by Al Sarrantonio as a response to the character of Susan Pevensie in the Chronicles of Narnia and addresses what he sees as the “problematic and deeply irritating” omission of her from The Last Battle, where she was characterized by Lewis as being “no longer a friend of Narnia” and interested “in nothing nowadays except lipstick, nylons and invitations“. He is not the only author to be vexed by this treatment of Ms Pevensie, as there have been several criticisms of apparent misogyny and sexism within the CS Lewis stories from other writers, including J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series and also Philip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, who is so fierce a critic of Lewis’ work as to be dubbed “the anti-Lewis”.
‘October in the Chair’ is the first of the stories from within Fragile Things, which started life as a request from Harlan Ellison to collaborate together, but fate decreed Neil would finish it alone and he ended up setting up another with Harlan. Finally presented for Peter Straub’s volume Conjunctions, which Straub was guest editing, it also became a dry run for The Graveyard Book. Following on in Fragile Things is ‘Locks’ a conversational poem told as between Neil and his daughter. Editing the tale of Goldilocks into poem form, it conforms more to the original short story by Southey, who intended it to be about an old woman and not a little girl. And finally ‘The Day the Saucers Came’ is another poem, this originally written at the request of fellow horror, fantasy, science fiction author and poet Rain Graves for her website and tells of the day of the Apocalypse, zombies, Ragnarok and any number of wonders and is a favourite for live readings by the author himself.
According to Dark Horse, in the short story The Problem of Susan, Gaiman “explores the remarkable power of children’s literature through the eyes of an aged college professor with unique insight into Susan’s fantastic past. The Problem of Susan and Other Stories shines new light on the wondrous and imaginative tales we tell and how they shape our experiences for generations to come.”
This is not the first Dark Horse graphic novel adaptation from within the pages of Fragile Things. ‘Harlequin Valentine’ was a commedia dell’arte and told the story of Harlequin giving his heart to Columbine, quite literally. Adapted into hardcover graphic novel form in 2001, it contains art by John Bolton. And also published just this June is ‘A Study in Emerald’ with art by Rafael Albuquerque and Dave Stewart, a tale set in the world of Sherlock Holmes and Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos.
The specific contributors for each of the stories in this latest anthology were not yet identified, though Gaiman, P. Craig Russell (The Sandman, The Giver), Scott Hampton (American Gods), and Paul Chadwick (Concrete) were named in Dark Horse’s official announcement, along with Lovern Kindziewski, as listed on the anthology’s cover.
The Problem of Susan and Other Stories will be released January 23, 2019 and is available for pre-order at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and local comic book shops.
THE PROBLEM OF SUSAN AND OTHER STORIES
Written by Neil Gaiman
With contributions by P. Craig Russell, Scott Hampton, Paul Chadwick and Lovern Kindziewski.
On Sale January 23 2019.
Check out www.darkhorse.com for more and don’t miss out on this next exciting adaptation in 2019.
User Review( votes)