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Interview: The 'House of Usher' Will Fall in Raul Garcia's Poe Adaptation

Interview by Troy-Jeffrey Allen

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From Vincent Price to the Simpsons - in terms of popular culture, the works of Edgar Allan Poe have undergone many adaptations over the decades. However, that does not mean there isn't room for fresh eyes to experience Poe for the first time. 

With Ablaze's The Fall of the House of Usher, artist Raul Garcia takes Poe's 1839 short story of the same name and presents it to new readers in 2024. In the following interview, the animator and graphic novelist tells us what to expect from his adaptation. Keep reading... 

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Catch us up to speed, what is The Fall of the House of Usher all about?

The Fall of the House of Usher is a graphic novel based on Edgar Allan Poe’s famous short story via a short film [that was] part of a feature animated film I directed called Extraordinary Tales

So is this more a direct adaptation of the animated short?

Yes, the short film was so rich visually that I kept wondering what would be the challenges to transform a story conceived as an animated piece in the language of comic books. On top of that, the film was narrated by film legend Sir Christopher Lee. So how to recreate his textured voice as dialogue and narration as part of the graphic novel was a challenge in itself.

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What drew you to wanting to adapt Poe’s story? What made you want to bring this story to a graphic novel format?

Edgar Allan Poe’s stories were the first “serious books” I read when I was a kid. That somehow kindled my thirst for fantasy and horror literature from an early age (geek!). As a consequence, my love for horror comic books -- especially the classics from Warren, Creepy, Eerie, Vampirella, and Famous Monsters of Filmland -- opened the door to a great world of horror and B-movies that [connected] back to Poe with the Hammer Films and Roger Corman.

So it was a matter of time before I would try to emulate my heroes and pay homage to Poe when I became an animator.

The idea for bringing back the story as a graphic novel came from my passion for comic books and a desire to explore the language of a graphic novel. Playing with the rhythm of the storytelling, the size of the cases, and the world of drawing sound! I got really excited about coming back to do comic books!

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What is it about The Fall of the House of Usher that keeps people coming back for more? 

The Fall of the House of Usher is such an enigmatic story and has a lot of ingredients for a Gothic horror reader. It’s a story about metaphors. The Fall of the House of Usher is the end of a family lineage, as well as the physical destruction of the family mansion -- the decaying estate of Roderick Usher’s mind and the physical decay of the house. A story of family secrets and forbidden love. The story has so many layers. Each new reading of Poe’s original text uncovers new nuances that add richness to the story.

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Looking forward, what can readers expect from the book?

Readers can expect a new adaptation of a timeless story closer to the original Poe’s text than previous ones, and a rich visual experiment that brings you back to the puppet art of Jiri Trnka, the Victorian atmosphere of old movies, and a fulfilling storytelling experience.

 

The Fall of the House of Usher is available on February 14, 2024, at comic shops from Ablaze. Reserve your copy with PREVIEWSworld Pullbox.

Keep an eye on PREVIEWSworld.com's TwitterFacebookYouTube, or Instagram for more artist spotlights!

ABLAZE PUBLISHING
FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER HC (MR)
(W) Edgar Allan Poe, Raul Garcia (A/CA) Raul Garcia
Edgar Allan Poe's gothic tale of the decaying Usher mansion comes to life in an all-new way!
  
In this graphic novel edition of The Fall of the House of Usher, Raul Garcia adapts his animated short, The Fall of the House of Usher, now streaming on Prime Video, and as a part of the animated feature Extraordinary Tales.
  
A traveler arrives at the Usher mansion to visit his old friend, Roderick Usher. Upon arriving, however, he discovers that Roderick and his sister, Madeline, have been afflicted with a mysterious malady: Roderick's senses have become painfully acute, while Madeline has become nearly catatonic. That evening, Roderick tells his guest of an old Usher family curse: any time there has been more than one Usher child, all siblings have gone insane, dying horrible deaths. As the days wear on, the effects of the curse reach their terrifying climax.
  
In this adaptation, the celebrated animator translates the cinematographic language into the comic medium.
  
As a bonus, the original Edgar Allan Poe prose story is included!
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In Shops: Feb 14, 2024
SRP: $16.99
PREVIEWS Page #230

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Troy-Jeffrey Allen is the producer and co-host of PREVIEWSworld Weekly. His comics work includes MF DOOM: All Caps, Public Enemy's Apocalpyse '91, Fight of the Century, the Harvey Award-nominated District Comics, and the Ringo Award-nominated Magic Bullet. 

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