Comic book covers for Chaucer, Marx, and Dickens? Why not?

Penguin Books has been commissioning "comics-inspired" covers for classics.

Never before has "The Communist Manifesto" seemed quite so reader-friendly.

Would you be more likely to pick up "The Communist Manifesto" or "The Canterbury Tales" if the book's cover featured "killer new images" by a comic book artist the caliber of Richard Sala, Ted Stearn, or Tara McPherson?

Penguin Books is betting that the answer is yes and has commissioned a number of such covers for its line of classics.

Undoubtedly some readers will protest that marrying such graphics to great lit (even superficially) is all part of the dumbing down of America. The rest of us, however, will all enjoy taking a look. (You can see some images here and then more here.)

Personally, I'm inclined to agree with Caleb Goellner that, "[j]udging these books by their covers has never been so rad."

Marjorie Kehe is the Monitor's book editor.

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