Richard Corben: Edgar Allan Poe’s The Premature Burial

At only 28 pages long, this comic presents Corben’s reimagining of two of Poe’s short stories: The Premature Burial and The Cask of Amontillado. With the title story, which originally is about a man who has a fear of being buried alive, we get a rearranged abridgement of the the story that tells of a man who seeks revenge for being conditionally jilted but gets what he deserves in the end. Warnings for gross male entitlement and assumed necrophilia.

Corben keeps to the original of a man who lures his friend to his death for insulting him for The Cask of Amontillado, but reframes it as a drawn out confession being told by Montresor to Madam Fortunato, the wife of his departed friend. Whether the catalyst for such a production was solely guilt on his part or guilt accompanied by a need to further extend the suffering of the widow as one last dig is up for debate, but his fate was as clear as the Amontillado by firelight.

Corben is known for his horror comics and illustrations, so he seems like just the guy for a comic adaptation of an Edgar Allan Poe story. I can read horror, but I’m not to keen on looking at it. You know, no matter how much people rave about Ito Junji’s work, I’ll never read it. Though I feel differently about films, well maybe just the ones made before the mid eighties. Anyway, the images were creepy and gross, but not to the point of absolute grotesqueness. I doubt I’ll look for more of Corben’s work unless it’s Poe related, but it worked for this.

I enjoyed his take on Poe’s work and The Cask is one of my favorites (oh, the papers I wrote), so it was good to see it this way.

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