“Carnival of Souls” Graphic Novel Adaptation
Returns in a New Edition from Cremo Studios
Herk Harvey, pioneering independent moviemaker of the last century, foreshadowed the development of an indie-film groundswell with a maverick production called Carnival of Souls in 1962 The film’s resurgence during 1989-1990 as a film-festival and art-theatre attraction brought about, in turn, a graphic novel that inspired Stephen King to declare, “I’m in awe...!”
With the restoration of that Carnival of Souls book in two distinct editions for 2013, Cremo Studios, Inc., has brought Herk Harvey’s accomplishment full-circle. The filmmaker had commissioned the Carnival of Souls graphic novel while enjoying renewed popular and critical acclaim for a film that, during the 1960s, had been confined largely to the drive-in and grindhouse theatres and then banished to late-night television.
The designer and co-author of the comics version, Michael H. Price, had been involved with the film’s 1989 restoration as a syndicated motion-picture critic and a jurist with the USA Film Festival at
which launched the big-screen reissue. A representative of Herk Harvey
approached Price about developing the graphic novel in 1990, and a
collaboration with Harvey
began. Price enlisted newspaper illustrator Todd Camp as principal artist.
Price and Camp, in turn, developed the comics adaptation from a combination of the restored film, the original shooting script, and
film-cutting continuity. The tale follows the narrative arc of Harvey’s original vision: A haunted
protagonist finds herself under siege by a mob of ghostly stalkers.
Price & Camp developed the book in a visually intense Pointillist style, employing millions of dots of ink to achieve a photo-realistic image comparable with the film’s shadow-laden camera compositions. The original edition of Carnival of Souls appeared in 1991 from Malibu Graphics, its release coinciding with the first authorized video edition of the restored film.
The new graphic novel, Carnival of Souls: Black & White Omnibus Edition (Cremo Studios; $25) reproduces the original edition with refinements and embellishments. The 290-page package is rounded out with a retrospective of Price & Camp’s additional comics work of the 1990s, including the Hollywood-themed comic strip Moviola, a collection called Holiday for Screams, and such short-story selections as Planet of the Dead and a little-seen serial feature called Corridors of Terror. A limited alternate edition, Carnival of Souls & Further Crepuscular Peculiarities (Cremo Studios; $55) contains a selection of full-color pages.
Both editions of Carnival of Souls are in distribution via the Web catalogue of Amazon-dot-com. The eStore link is: https://www.createspace.com/4372670