Thursday, October 6, 2016

Bradbury 31, Day 6: "It Burns Me Up!"

"It Burns Me Up!" is one of those Ray Bradbury short stories which doesn't quite fit the usual genres he's pinned to - it isn't horror, fantasy or science fiction. It does have a somewhat unusual storytelling device in that it's narrated by a dead man, but even that's not unheard of in literature. First printed in 1944, I suppose you could call it a crime story as the plot involves investigators looking into the murdered man's death while the narrating dead man complains about their shoddy work.

Although it's not one of Bradbury's best-known works, it too has been adapted, via Topps Comics in 1993. Topps had a knack for bringing in some of comics' all-time greatest creators for their Bradbury adaptations and in this instance, the adaptation came from Harvey Kurtzman, best-known for his work at EC Comics, who were, of course, boosters of Bradbury's in the 1950s. As Kurtzman wasn't involved in the 50s adaptation it certainly seems right for him to adapt one of Bradbury's tales; as his work was rather sketchy, Matt Wagner (a legend in his own right) came in to finish it up; Wagner explains the process through a series of articles here. It's a very neat look at Kurtzman's work with his geometric characters appearing almost 3-dimensional on the page. Seek it out!

Tomorrow: More Ray Bradbury!

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