Tampa Bay Online deems R.SIKORYAK a "genius"!

“Twisted genius combines comics, classic” / Tampa Bay Online / Kevin Walker / November 22, 2009

R. Sikoryak, bless his twisted head, is a genius. His "Masterpiece Comics" - some of which are reprinted here in a beautiful coffee-table book - offers example after example of how he has seamlessly mashed up famous comic characters with classic literature.

The book features a half-dozen short comics in which Sikoryak gives a well-known comic character the lead role in a work of classic literature. He also mimics the art style of those who created the comics, from Charles M. Schulz ("Peanuts") to Bob Kane ("Batman"). In short, dude has mad drawing skills, a terrific sense of humor and great taste in books.

For those who know the literature, it's hilarious. If you've never read the classics, these comics give you a quick glimpse at some of the novel's key points.

Russian literature lovers, I dare you not to smile at "Dostoyevsky Comics," in which Batman is cast in the role of Raskolnikov from "Crime and Punishment," a man who struggles with his conscience after committing a senseless murder. His companion is a transvestite who looks quite a bit like Robin, and the woman he murders comes back to haunt him, laughing at his anguish, Joker-style.

Or there's "Action Camus," in which a, ah, super man goes all existential, playing the role of Meursault in Albert Camus' "The Stranger." Sikoryak puts Camus' famous line from "The Stranger" in Superman's mouth. When a woman (Lois Lane?) asks, "Do you love me?" he responds: "Well, it's a meaningless question, but I suppose not."

Sikoryak doesn't save his mash-ups for only costumed superheroes. He uses Blondie and Dagwood to tell the story of Adam and Eve, and he uses Charlie Brown and the "Peanuts" gang for Franz Kafka's "Metamorphosis" in ways I won't even attempt to describe.

It's original and daring and breathes life into both comics and classics. How could a book lover not love Sikoryak for that?

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