First Issue Review – “Poe Noir” by Tim Zajac and Graham Sisk

First Issue Review

This is one of those projects that you know must exist somewhere, but that you don’t really think about until you find it, and then when you do find it, you’re like, where the hell have YOU been? That’s a pretty accurate representation of my reaction when I first laid mine eyes upon Poe Noir by Tim Zajac – a great-looking comic book adaptation of one of the greatest minds in literature. It’s deep and dark and downright devilish in its design, and you should definitely go out and grab a copy if you can (available on Comixology), everyone needs a little more Edgar Allen Poe in their lives, and if you’re a fan of him, you’ll be a fan of this too!

The comic book blends the dark American Gothic style of Poe and brings it to life in a new form with a new re-imagining of the original works that’s terrifying to behold. When reading it I was surprised at how these tales of horror I had read before were given such a refreshing take in this adaptation, and it’s made the transfer to comic book form really well — mostly thanks to the writing of Tim Zajac and the terrific artwork by Graham Sisk. Poe Noir does exactly as the title implies, it brings the work forward in time to the early 20th century and gives it a gritty noir feel, which leaves me questioning why I haven’t seen it sooner as that style works really well with Poe’s sense of horror and intrigue.

Poe Noir focuses, at least in the first issue, on two of the original author’s pieces of work; The Pit and the Pendulum, and The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether. Two original stories that really capture the magical dark and surrealism that surrounds Edgar Allen Poe, but to make it clear these are adaptions of his work that are inspired by the originals, if you’re looking for a true version from page to panel you’re not going to find it in this comic book.

Saying that though, I really did enjoy both of these new versions a lot and I think Tim Zajac has really managed to capture the grimness of Poe quite well in the writing and it feels like a passion project from someone that knows the original pieces intimately. Of course, when adapting something from ‘words on a page’ to a ‘comic book form’ one of the most important things to get right is the imagery and visual syllogism, which is certainly the case here. Graham Sisk’s style couldn’t be better as an accompaniment for Poe; it’s gritty, dirty, and mortifying in places, while also being stylistically impressive and well-drawn. It’s the art that brings this project to life, as it should be for every comic book, and it’s worth checking out just for that aspect of it.

I could really talk about this project all day, and I’m really glad I clumsily stumbled upon it as I was looking through the new releases on Comixology. I can’t recommend it enough to FPFLP readers, and you should go out right now and check it out. If you’re a fan of horror, intrigue, mystery, and of course the works of Edgar Allen Poe, I can guarantee that you’ll fall in love with this love letter to his work. There are probably a hundred more comic book adaptations just like this, but I can’t imagine one that has done it quite as well as Tim Zajac and Graham Sisk in Poe Noir.

You can grab yourself a copy of Poe Noir on Comixology – RIGHT HERE

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