Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Edgar Allan Poe Is In Print Again!

Fans of Edgar Allan Poe, Ray Harryhausen, and Marc Lougee have another reason to celebrate. Sure, Marc's short stop-motion animated film "Ray Harryhausen presents The Pit and the Pendulum" is a hit on the festival circuit, and is also available on DVD.

But now, to mark E.A. Poe's 200th birthday (January 19) Bluewater Productions, in association with Hand Made Heroes Film & Television, Ltd, published "The Pit and the Pendulum" film as a glorious 4-colour comic! It hit shelves on February 25.

So where can you get this Poe-liscious publication? Well, you can ask/beg/plead/demand that your favourite comic book haunt order it for you. Or you can order it yourself on-line at Things From Another Planet. And there's always going direct to the publisher, Bluewater Productions.

Here's some background on the film to comic book transition from director Marc Lougee and producer Susan Ma.

Marc says, "Doing a comic was something I've always been keen to try, so we utilized the still images from the stop motion film as 'sequential art' in comic form; the result is a sort of hybrid between the film, a graphic novel and a short story comic. I think it's a very cool-looking way of telling the story with a fresh approach."

Sequential art in comics is a familiar sight for most everyone, but utilizing the images used in the film itself and re-processing them for another type of 'sequential art' made sense to both Lougee and Producer Susan Ma.

Susan adds, "A short film, being what it is, faces limitations in the sense it has much less of a chance of being screened outside of niche markets and events, such as film festivals. There are few real options to see shorts outside the festival circuit (location-based and online), unless you feel inclined to send it off through a distributor or post it online yourself. Many times we've found the film would be sold as a package with a host of other films, which I felt would lessen the impact and the viewing experience."

"As filmmakers, it was important for us to explore the broader potential for our film through comic book publishing, and sought out a smaller, indie film friendly publisher. Thankfully, we found just that combination in Darren Davis and Bluewater Productions, and now with the comic set for release in February, we feel we've got another opportunity to see a broader range of visibility for E.A. Poe's wonderful story, and another means of getting the story into the hands of fans everywhere."

"We're all about making the story of The Pit and the Pendulum accessible to students, teachers and fans of the Gothic genre." says Marc.

"The goal is to get folks to spend more time with Edgar Allan Poe's classic tale, to help see the subtleties in the story and lay groundwork for discussion in class. In the case of students studying E.A. Poe's work, I feel this sort of approach, the combination of films & comics in tandem, may help get kids interested in literature. This is especially relevant as we're in the midst of Edgar Allan Poe's 200th anniversary; what better time to get to know the man and his work than now?"

The Pit and the Pendulum short film

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