Friday, September 07, 2018

Books: Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Adapted and Illustrated by Gary Gianni)

I'll have a big post about this year's Dragon Con up eventually, but for now, let's reminisce about a DC memory... 

Most of Dragon Con's pleasures are ephemeral (sweaty cosplay, sci-fi and fantasy panels, playing obscure boardgames), but there are still plenty of places to buy mementos and souvenirs of the con experience. One of my favorites is the Comic & Pop Artist Alley, where hundreds of genre artists hawk their wares.

That's where I met Gary Gianni, who is perhaps best known for illustrating "Prince Valiant." We shared a love of Jules Verne's immortal "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," as Mr. Gianni was selling his lavishly illustrated graphic novel version (a big hardcover with 64 oversize pages). Needless to say, I snapped up a copy, which he kindly personalized and signed for me.

The story is pretty compressed due to the format, but all the major beats are there, including awesome full page spreads of Atlantis, giant squids, and the final escape from the Nautilus. There's also a bonus story, "The Sea Raiders" by H.G. Wells, that includes similar nautical illustrations from Mr. Gianni. The book would be neat on its own, but it's an absolute keepsake thanks to how I got it.


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