'Classics Illustrated' Heads To The iPad

Classics Illustrated is a name, if you’re of a certain age, that evokes memories of huddling over a musty box of your Dad’s comics, devouring tales ranging from Treasure Island, to Frankenstein, and more. Well, the originals are back, but this time, all you have to do is huddle over your Dad’s musty iPad.

Set up by eBook company Trajectory Inc., the original run of Classics Illustrated – over 120 issues in total – is now available in the iBook store for purchase and download. And of particular importance for fans of the imprint, this isn’t new Classics Illustrated, or terrible scans: this is the original run of the books, scanned and based on the original printing plates.

Why is this important? Because, like we mentioned above, there’s been a number of takes on comic book adaptations of classic novels throughout the years, but none as successful as the original run of Classics Illustrated. The books ran from 1941 to 1971, before their inevitable cancellation. Since then, various publishers have tried to bring back the imprint – most notably First Comics, which relaunched CI with art by Kyle Baker, Mike Ploog, Bill Sienkiewicz, and more in 1990. But despite major pushes from publishers ranging from Papercutz, to First Classics, Classics Illustrated has never gotten the traction the original series had.

Since then, there have been other takes on the property, like Marvel’s successful adaptations. The Wizard of Oz by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young are, of course, huge successes, both critically and commercially. And the Jane Austen books have also sold extremely well in a limited market, also from Marvel. But Classics Illustrated is, without a doubt, the original – and gold standard – of the adaptation market.

Anyway, now they’re available digitally, and you have no excuse not to check ‘em out. So go do that. Here’s the full press release below:


Over 120 eBooks Now Downloadable From Apple iTunes

CAMBRIDGE, MA—May 15, 2012— Trajectory, Inc. announced today that the iconic Classics Illustrated comic and graphic novel series are now available in the Apple iTunes eBook marketplace. The series consists of over 120 digital graphic novels presented in a comic book format with robust color illustrations that introduce great literature to readers of all ages. Trajectory is collaborating with Apple, Inc., the leading provider of smartphones and tablets to deliver the series on IOS iPad™, iPhone™, and iPod Touch™.

Comic book lovers worldwide get ready; the Classics Illustrated digital graphic novels published by Trajectory are now available for purchase in the iTunes Store, and iBooks Store. The digital comics series features the world's greatest stories by the worlds greatest authors including: "The Last of the Mohicans," "War of the Worlds," "The Pearl Princess," "Treasure Island," "The Count of Monte Cristo," "Robin Hood," "Snow White", “Jane Eyre”, “The Three Musketeers”, and hundreds more.

“Trajectory, Inc.’s Classics Illustrated has diversified and strengthened its already solid reputation as a thoughtful, intelligent publisher of canonical, traditional titles” said Dr. Katie Monnin, Professor of Literacy, University of North Florida. “From the perspective of an educator I foresee limitless potential in bringing Classics Illustrated into the classroom. Probably well known to teachers, parents, and librarians the Classics Illustrated titles are sure to be engaging and exciting comic book stories for an entirely new generation of readers. An A+ idea and comic book execution eBook format, I highly recommend these titles make their way into your child or student’s hands.”

Novelist Anne Rice states, “I remember reading Jane Eyre in the Classics comics and how much I loved the details and seeing the madwoman in the attic in those little panels and seeing the whole novel play out. What always drew me were very detailed, representational drawings, rather than something abstract. I wanted to see a lot of richness and a lot of depth.” Classics Illustrated graphic novels, she said, “Have a freedom that is all their own to create an entire universe in detail fairly inexpensively, compared to a film.”

“Making the Classics available in digital form brings these brilliant works to where people live now, on their mobiles. The iPad and iPhone are great for interacting with one of the most beloved comics and graphic novel series of all time.” said Jim Bryant, Trajectory CEO.