Classical Comics’ second new offering is slightly more perplexing than their release of Frankenstein. With their original line up of Shakespeare stories – Macbeth and Henry V – it was clear that they had chosen ‘rip roaring’ stories full of adventure and action to tempt disaffected teenage boys into reading. With Jane Eyre it’s less easy to see who is being targeted?
The artwork, although agonizingly beautiful, is more watercolour than Photoshop and adds to the dated feel of this comic. Walking around my class (year 6) I found it difficult to find a group that would take to a story about a young girl’s turbulent journey through childhood to the heartaches of adulthood. With a GCSE class, one could position the narrative within the timeline of feminism, and the literary tradition of liberated female authors, as well as using it as a launchpad for exploring adaptations of classic stories. Therein lies the contradiction that this version of Jane Eyre never shakes off: a story undoubtedly aimed at adults, repackaged in a format that is read and adored by boys.
reviewed for ACHUKA by Michael Lucchesi