From: Stewart Wilson ( stewart@stewartwilson.com)
Date: 10 Jun 2007

 On the subject of comics/graphic novels, last year comic publisher Dark Horse reprinted the 1950 'Picture Novel' IT RHYMES WITH LUST. It's a pulp-type crime and romance story, told in 128 pages, mostly 3 or 4 panels per page. The artwork is black & white line drawing, with an odd technique of drawing items and people not central to each scene in a sort of grayed-out manner. Neither the story, dialog, characters, nor artwork have aged very well, but I do recommend it as an interesting piece of HB comic history. Dark Horse has priced it at $14.95 which seems a little steep. It was also reprinted in Comics Journal #277.

 In an afterword to the reprint edition, co-author Arnold Drake (1924-2007) argues that IT RYHMES WITH LUST was the first graphic novel. His argument involves making distinctions between comic adaptations of novels and original works, and between comic novels without dialog balloons and those with. Whether that argument is valid or not, the book is clearly an early graphic novel.


Stewart Wilson
Toronto, ON

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