In the Shadow of Edgar Allan Poe
by Jonathon Scott Fuqua,
Stephen John Phillips, Steven Parke
(DC Comics, 2002)

This work takes the graphic novel genre to greater heights. The use of Stephen John Phillips' lovely quirky photography and Steven Parke's endlessly creative artistic expression to enhance Jonathon Scott Fuqua's quietly insightful tale of what was really going on with Edgar Allan Poe is a dark and blissful marriage, as bothersomely beautiful as Poe's own to cousin Virginia.

Edgar, Auntie Maria and cousin Virginia brought worlds of new meaning to the concept of menage a trois. This story unflinchingly examines and displays the seamiest aspects of Poe's morally equivocal, but endlessly fascinating and brilliant, life. Fans of Preacher, Hellblazer and Neil Gaiman's Sandman will find much to love here as well.

This belongs in every public library collection for young adults and in any collection of American literary history. The best part is that the demons who plague Poe are portrayed in such a way as the reader still can never be quite sure if they are real and separate beings or just Poe's absinthe-soaked delusions. In the Shadow of Edgar Allan Poe is masterfully rendered.

by Stephen Richmond
1 October 2005

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