Sunday, August 05, 2007

Batman by Dostoyevsky


Click images to enlarge




Time for another forgotten classic from the vast Again With the Comics archives. Here we present Dostoyevsky Comics, originally printed in Drawn and Quarterly #3 (2000), and currently out-of-print, as far as I know*. Crime and Punishment, originally written by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, was brilliantly adapted here by R. Sikoryak, as seen through a Dick Sprang Batman filter. This marriage of Classic Russian Literature and the Caped Crusader of Gotham also serves as further proof, if any were needed, that everything is better with Batman.


*UPDATE: This story is reprinted in Masterpiece Comics, and can be purchased right here, at the Again with the Comics Store!




















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52 comments:

Deschanel said...

W o w.
That was tremendous.

So Sonny was a cross-dressing streetwalker? I thought the "Robin" was a she. But clearly a he:
"Did I want his cross?..his tears, his heart ache"

Ah, the first page: "My dearest Sonny walks the street to support us.. and i drink HIS money away!"

I'm unfamiliar with Crime and Punishment, but is there really a trannie hooker religious fanatic in it?

Thanks for a fascinating read!

Brian Hughes said...

No, the streetwalker in the original book was a female named Sonya. Most of the character names were shortened and/or altered for this strip.

Alex said...

Oh Gods, yankees, what have you done with one of the best books ever?!
Burn that comics!

Anonymous said...

Pizdec... I can not say other word.

Anonymous said...

This is "Crime and Punishment - Edition for morons". Just a stupid, straight-as-a-stick retelling of just character's actions. No sense, no philosophy, no beauty of the original.
PS And by the way, he was RASKOLNIKOV

Brian Hughes said...

Hey, I'm just bringin' art to the masses, man. If someone is inspired by this to read "Crime and Punishment" who otherwise would've never given it a second look, that's a good thing. So relax, the original’s right there on the shelf, unharmed.

Hey, no offense, Entire Russian Federation. And welcome to the wacky, irreverent world of Again With the Comics!

Feel free to browse our archives for over 240 fun-filled articles that don't involve befouling the works of Russian Literary Giants AT ALL. Just lots and lots of comics.

Trinadzatij said...

Идиоты.

Vlad said...

Hiya Brian,

Thanks, that is fascinating. Never seen unshaved Batman with an axe.

It's dumb, it's simple, but fairly effective.

Cheerio,
Vladislav.

Anonymous said...

No ofence taken, Brian. I too live in Russia, I've read the original book and I like this comics very much. Of course it doesn't have nor the philosophy not the atmosphere of the original but hey — who will read the 600-700 paged comics with fully accurate plot instead of the book? It serves it's goal pretty well which is to make people read the book and provide some fun for those who's already read it.

P.S. But I still believe the best Batman ever was in Superman — Red Son :).

Regards, Igor.

mirshafie said...

I have not read Crime and Punishment, although some of my friends have urged me to do so many times. I enjoyed the comic and I've decided to visit the library tomorrow. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

you americans are so stupid. 85% of your nation are retards and that is your own statistic. you think all of you are so dump because of the major evil?
no. you are so dump because you have no culture, only comics.

who is smart in your country?
scientists, medics, lawyers - people who reads a lot of books.
and the world is controled by smart people, not people like your pres. who don't know diference between opec and apec.
...

no offense.

Teal said...

Anyone offended by this has no sense of humor. Seriously, he wasn't trying to devalue Crime and Punishment. If it were so easy to devalue that story, it would speak very poorly of Dostoyevsky. This is a joke about Batman in the setting of Raskolnikov.

Laugh a little and get over yourselves.

Marina said...

Wow this was super cool. AND I am Russian and have read pretty much every book by Dostoevsky. So people who are offended are morons. =) Love this site!

Anonymous said...

You cannot say that comics are not culture. They are as much culture as books. Art is culture, literature is culture. Culture is not just reading books that are 1000 pages long and have big words. Culture is the way of life of a society. In other words, every society has culture. However, there is such a thing as high and low culture.
Who's to really say which is which. Comic books can be more than just entertainment. Literature can be little more than entertainment.

Anyone who says americans are stupid becasue they have no culture is stupid themselves. There is no such thing as having no culture.

Teresa said...

I read the "Classics Comics" version of "Crime and Punishment" while waiting for my piano lesson in, let's see, 1966.There was also a page explaining the relation between ordinary playing cards, the Tarot deck, the kings and queens of the Old Testament, and the legend of the Merovingian dynasty's descent from Christ and Mary Magdalene. So I guess the writer of that "Da Vinci Code" dreck also read "Classics Comics". That book would have been improved by a touch of Batman.

john f. said...

Great post. The comic was really cool, and funny.

Some of the comics here are simply classic.

See if you can find a Batman of Michael Kohlhaas by Kleist -- that would be pretty cool too.

john f. said...

Oops, I meant some of the COMMENTS here are simply classic, but so are the comics, I guess.

john f. said...

You've really pissed off some Russians. Look at all those links to this post below. Do you think they'll burn down a Danish embassy?

Brian Hughes said...

I certainly hope that no one burns anything over a stupid damn Batman comic. From what little I could make out, some folks were outraged at first but later reactions seemed more positive and fun. The earliest reactions came from more conservative academic websites, but later the hip crowd put it on websites with boobies. Not that I understood a word, mind you -that's just my general impression from the trappings of the message boards and blogs to which this was posted.

Anonymous said...

Nation with simple and flat brain :( And same culture.
Bush is YOURS president :D

Sorry for my english, i hope you have understood

vadym_ind said...

cool... I hope mr.Dostoyevskij had a better sense of humor then some of his neighbours today... He'd probably enjoy this.

Anonymous said...

Wery nice but why next is Kafka better choise - manga "Gommer - Illiada" 8-)
Короче даёшь, в бога душу , "Полную Антологию Мировой Классики Для Круглых Американцев" глядишь и миллионером станешь ;)

Anonymous said...

Господин Достоевский перевурнулся в гробу...

Anonymous said...

Ha! We've been reading C&P in my book club, and I think I know what will be the hit of the evening meeting tomorrow. Thanks for this!

Shane said...

Not sure why the Russians are so pissed. Bush may be OUR president, but PUTIN is YOURS! And you can HAVE HIM! :-D

This was strangely funny, btw, and yes, everything is better with Batman.

Saint Fnordius said...

The best way to read this is not as a retelling of "Crime and Punishment", but as a brilliant exercise in exposing the weaknesses of the "Golden Age" comic book. Characters are flattened, sequences move forward so fast they seem almost to be non sequiturs.

It is a wonderful mix of both genres, but only because its failure was intended. A great parody of overly-abridged works.

A Geek Story said...

ha ha....that was hilarious.
I'm a fan of both Dostovesky and Batman. What a great mix.

Thanks for that. :)

Arthur said...

Crime and Punishment is one of my favorite books. I think a humorous pop culture retelling of a great story doesn't hurt it - it's like a long, flashy inside joke for those who loved the story. Great work.

Anonymous said...

Actually Charlie Brown by Kafka is what's next.

http://www.rsikoryak.com/mastcom.html

Good ol' Gregor Brown halfway down the page.

David said...

Good lord, do people seriously think this comic is somehow intended to replace the book? Who exactly is calling whom "dump?"

And since I *am* a scientist, I guess my post carries extra weight.

Anonymous said...

i remember a 1980s comic called "jokes about dostoevsky" that was actually interesting and amusing unlike this American slice of shite

varnav said...

1. Classic book is a book everyone recognizes to be great, but no one want to read it.
2. Some of my so-nationals say that american pop culture is stupid. Looks like they never watched russian TV or listened russian pop songs. Maybe american pop culture is stupid, but russian pop culture is absolutely dumb.

-- Eugene from Moscow

Anonymous said...

долбануться... Хоть я и не "аффтар", но очнь хочется пожелать создателю сего произведения встретиться с бетонной стеной на скорости 120км/ч...

Roger Morris said...

Hi there! I love the idea of this! Came here via Edward Pettit's Bibliography, by the way.

For what it's worth, I think those who get offended are kind of missing the point. This comic book is inspired by Crime and Punishment, it's not a replacement for it. And as Brian, I think, has said, if this sends just one person over the library to check out the original, then it must be a good thing. And actually, it's already done that I think.

Anyhow, I incurred the wrath of the purists myself by writing a detective novel, The Gentle Axe, which featured... wait for it... Porfiry Petrovich! So who am I to talk?!

macsnafu said...

Great Stuff! People overlook that this is not just a parody of Crime and Punishment, but also a parody of the original Batman--just look at that great copycat art, and the characters played by "Commissioner Gordon", "Robin", and "Alfred"!

macsnafu said...

Whoops--and the "Joker", too, as the pawnbroker.

tomztoyz said...

Thanks for posting this story, it's cool. I seriously LOVE the artwork done very much in the style of Dick Sprang....awesome! I've bookmarked this blog as a favorite for sure!

Thanx, Tommy

If you're a BATMAN FAN then please visit my blog.

http://www.bat-blog.com

Anonymous said...

This comic got a great writeup in "Very Short List" today (Nov 14).

I'm eager to see Batman tackle history, chemistry, and James Joyce.

http://veryshortlist.com/vsl/daily.cfm/review/321/Other_print_publication/dostoyevsky-comics?tp

Anonymous said...

Where was Lassie?

And why wasn't Timmy trapped in a well somewhere?

Now THAT'S great culture.

LionD'Art said...

I loved some elsewords... But this is a completely ridiculous mush-up, two things that has nothing to do one with the other.

Anonymous said...

You are a sick man...You are an angry man. An unattractive man. I beleive your liver is diseased.

Anonymous said...

It's true! This 10-page comic book adaption is unsophisticated!...!!!

Denise said...

Oh, some of you people really need to lighten up! This is not a thesis for goodness sake. It's not even a satire. It's just good, clean fun! Just take it for the fun that it is and enjoy. Not everything has to be an analysis when it comes to classic literature. I found it lighthearted and funny.

Kelson said...

Hilarious! And yes, I've read (and enjoyed) the original novel.

Shelley said...

Brian,

Just read this and thought it was great...My senior, AP students are supposedly reading part 5 this weekend, and I plan to direct them to this site tomorrow to lighten their moods tomorrow. Thanks again...I'm glad I stumbled onto this site!

Anonymous said...

совершенно не остроумно

Nesher said...

Dostoevsky in brief. Can it be done on one page?


Nesher
http://webfreebies4u.blogspot.com
http://nesher9.blogspot.com

joe bloke said...

fantastic. anyone who gets offended by this is an intellectual snob, pure & simple. i've read Crime & Punishment a number of times, it's one of my favourite books, and i can't see anything about this that is in the least demeaning or disrespectful towards it's source. it's a great idea, brilliantly executed. thanks for sharing.

joe

Anonymous said...

Not bad, sir.
Вы сумели не испортить книгу до конца!

Anonymous said...

Degraded nation.. I say PIZDEC. I have no comments

Anonymous said...

hey guys, take it easy, there is no use offending the whole nation because you can't tell the difference between playing pranks and creating sth really serious. This was just made for fun, i think. We, russians, have also plenty of stuff that may look low-grade and vulgar (for instance those ~udaff~ stuff, you know), but in fact this is only a farce. Don't be so snobby. There are morons in America as well as in Russia, Ukraine or Birma, you know))) Just take it easy, chaps((:

Anonymous said...

Perfect! Liked your sense of humor.
Comics indeed are the culture. I personally love some of them with stranger graphic. My favorite is Ben Templesmith. Look at his works and then say it is not a culture. Stupid iditots saying americans are stupid based on Brian's comic are too stupid themselves. Have you ever heard of humor or irony?
Read Marc Twain's Innocents Abroad chapt 26, 27 (known in Russia as [В Риме]).
You'll see you're not just stupid but have no idea of what sense of what humor or irony is. Or, maybe you won't see that because you're too stupid.
I am russian too and I am more than sure that american culture is great though not too mature. I hope it is not american culture that makes US bombing everybody who is innocent and week but it's a different story.
Best regards,
Sergey