Whether you’re a Lit Major, a simple book reader, a voyeur of classic literature at your local bookstore, a film fan, a stage enthusiast or a pop culture devotee, you know the story of The Parish Boy’s Progress.
The story known ‘round the world as Oliver Twist.
First published in serial form in 1837 and then as a novel in 1839, the classic tale of social class, criminality, and children, was author Charles Dickens’ second book. Because of its plot centered on youth and youthful lives, it might arguably be his most popular story among all age demographics, young and old. Perhaps that’s why it has been adapted into so many different and disparate artistic visions.
And it’s no wonder that “Oliver” has made its way into the art form of comic books. Albeit, today, taken with some modern day liberties, of course.
Berger Books, the imprint of Dark Horse Comics that is curated by long-time comic book editor extraordinaire, Karen Berger (she’s the one that ushered forth the British invasion of American Comics in the mid to late 1980’s and established the mature, sophisticated Vertigo Comics imprint of DC Comics, in case you didn’t recognize her name), is publishing a take-off of Oliver Twist.
This one is called…wait for it…Olivia Twist!
Olivia Twist is a four-issue miniseries, written by award-winner and first time novelist-turned-comics-writer Darin Strauss (Half A Life, Chang & Eng, More Than It Hurts You) along with writer and professor Adam Dalva and illustrator Emma Vieceli (Vampire Academy, Adventures of Supergirl).
It, pardon the pun, twists, Dickens’ tale into something a little more steampunk, mixing the mid-nineteenth century with future tech and co-opting Oliver into girl named Olivia. It ably tells anew story with new eyes in a new time for a new audience. And really, you’d expect nothing less from a celebrated novelist, a writing professor, a fantastic artist, all under the leadership of one of comics’ greatest editors.
In Olivia Twist, the protagonist is a teenage orphan who joins up with a rag-tag girl gang of thieves, running from and in-between London internment camps and the power of sudden and irrepressible wealth. There’s something old and new to be found for everyone in these pages.
Make the Wednesday run to your local comic book store, darting past rugrats, pickpockets, danglers, droppers, hugger-muggers and grifters…and pick up a copy of the outstandingly outlandish Olivia Twist #1!
Charles Dickens wrote that “there are books of which the backs and covers are the best parts” – but you can catch a preview of the great interiors of Olivia Twist #1 right here or watch the embedded video below.