Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Number 1611: Bradbury and Sutton, “The Exiles”

Ray Bradbury’s imaginative tale, “The Exiles” was interpreted by artist Tom Sutton in Eclipse Comics’ Alien Encounters in 1986.

“The Exiles” in its original prose form has been oft-reprinted. Using authors like Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens as writers whose works have been banned in some future society seems improbable, but Bradbury liked to use startling ideas. Having long-dead authors holing up on Mars as their works are discarded on Earth is a concept I don’t think could come from any but Bradbury.

Tom Sutton did an excellent job in visualizing the Bradbury style. Both of these talented men are now sadly deceased.


Mykal said...

One of my favorites. Sutton had an ornate style all his own. I wish someone would to a hardcover collection of his work. Great post, Pappy.

Brian Barnes said...

Both Sutton and Bradbury can be hot or cold for me, but both are running red hot on this story.

Sutton's art makes the alien landscapes and smokey, misty authors and their works pop out of the page. It's really excellent work that fits with his visual style.

This is one of the stories that seemed a bit preachy and fan service from Bradbury (long before that concept existed.) His characterization of Dickens is great, though. The metaphor is more important than the actual story setup in this one.

Pappy said...

Mykal, I think Tom Sutton is under-appreciated.

Sometimes Sutton's work got a bit too ornate for me, and made it hard to read the stories. Despite that I do like this particular version of the Bradbury story. I think some of Sutton's work for Charlton is classic, and as you said, deserves to be preserved in a more permanent format.

Pappy said...

Brian, sometimes Bradbury's work did get a little carried away, assuming we all thought highly of the literary figures Bradbury worshipped, or had more than a passing knowledge. This 1961 story got attention. Gore Vidal called it "Bradbury at his best."

rnigma said...

I'm reminded of that early Simpsons episode where Bart ran for class president against Martin, who promised to have the "ABCs of science fiction" represented in the school library: "Asimov, Bester and Clarke."
"What about Bradbury?" a classmate asked.
"Eh, too overrated," Martin replied.

Bradbury liked the EC adaptations of his stories, although their first was the unauthorized "Home to Stay." Instead of firing off a cease-and-desist letter threatening suit, Bradbury sent a more polite letter to Bill Gaines et al, to the effect of "you adapted a couple of my stories, could you send me a few bucks for royalties?"

Pappy said...

rnigma, owing to Bradbury's status as an important writer during that period when EC was adapting him, at some point the criticism of comics had an effect. He had his literary representative (or his lawyer, I forget), write to Gaines and ask him to take his name off the covers. Gaines went along with it. It must've been just another bitter pill for him to swallow during a very bad time.

Darci said...

With the current fad to get rid of literature by "dead white guys", I don't think Bradbury's concept is all that improbable. I'm reminded also of the attempts to remove Huckleberry Finn from library shelves for the past 30+ years.

Pappy said...

Darci, I wonder how many people who complain about literary classics that offend modern sensibilities have ever actually read those works?