Lou Reed has developed quite an enduring literary crush on Edgar Allan Poe. In 2003, Reed released a two disc set of reworked Edgar Allan Poe pieces, collectively titled The Raven, that were set to music and read aloud. Celebrities, including David Bowie, Steve Buscemi and Willem Dafoe, contributed their vocal talents to the project. But now the year is 2011, and Reed is revisiting the album to create a graphic novel accompaniment. [via Gothamist]
Reed has collaborated with acclaimed illustrator Lorenzo Mattotti, who, as well as having won an Eisner Award (the most prestigious you can get in the comic industry) for his 2003 Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde graphic novel, has cartooned for Vogue, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and more. And while it seems like an oddball idea to put an individual spin on masterworks like Poe’s, the book actually looks gorgeous, the artwork fantastic and macabre, as you can see from the Fantagraphics preview above.
As for Reed’s other alterations, like the added drug references to The Raven (“Respite through the haze of cocaine’s glory/I smoke and smoke the blue vial’s glory”), in an interview with New York Magazine, Reed recently justified them by saying, “I think in his Raven, they were smoking opium anyway.” [via New York Magazine]