On July 2, 2012, R. Sikoryak presented excerpts from his lectures on translating classic literature into comics. He focused on versions of works by Shakespeare, Melville, and Kafka.
First he discussed seven adaptations of Hamlet, including the 1952 Classics Illustrated comic book, Will Eisner’s 1981 “Hamlet on a Rooftop” short story, and the 2007 Manga Shakespeare paperback. Plays are meant to be interpreted, which can make them appropriate for comics.
On the other hand, some novels resist faithful translations, although they could still lead to interesting variations. Sikoryak discussed over a dozen illustrated editions and comics adaptations of Moby Dick. Displayed were pages from the 1942 Classics Comics issue, the 1956 Dell comic book, and the 1990 Classics Illustrated revival, among many others.
He finished with a quick look at three 1990’s comics that adapt The Metamorphosis, a book that clearly speaks to a contemporary audience. These were by R. Crumb, Peter Kuper, and himself.