Friday, January 23, 2009

learning can be fun

Not all comic book heroes wore capes and had super powers. There was this series of comic books that started back in the forties and ran through the sixties called Classics Illustrated - and they were just that. These were comic books that illustrated such classics as Ivanhoe, Faust, The Iliad, and The Odyssey.

Now I wasn't a big fan of them back when I was a kid, but I sure wish that I had been now. I wish that I had the whole run of them. I remember these books as being brilliantly illustrated - but wordy as hell. I would love to read one again.

I remember being in junior high school (General Forrest Jr High) and a substitute teacher came with a box of them. He made his job of subbing pretty easy that day - and it was a pretty smart thing to do. He let the kids reach in and grab a classic and read the entire period. You couldn't just breeze through one of these things - like I said - they were pretty wordy.

The story goes that Classic Illustrated met it's fate when the company was denied second class postage privileges. Imagine that, a company that offered something educational and entertaining all stapled into one - being set back by the U.S. government like that. It is also said that the advent of Cliff Notes robbed some thunder of Classic Illustrated too. Strange, I'd rather read a comic book over a Cliff Note any day. It would be great if they'd make a come-back - I'd collect them.
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