Back in Print: Hunt Emerson’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Knockabout have re-published Hunt Emerson’s brilliant version of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner now back in print.

Hunt Emerson’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

First published in 2007, it’s a wonderful adaptation of the longest major poem by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, written in 1797–98 and published in 1798 in the first edition of Lyrical Ballads. In it, a sailor who has returned from a long sea voyage stops a man who is on his way to a wedding ceremony and begins to narrate a story.

The wedding-guest’s reaction turns from bemusement to impatience to fear to fascination as the mariner’s story progresses…

Hunt Emerson’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Hunt skill fully renders the great narrative poem rendered into comic strip form, and crams his version with some humorous moments.

Hunt Emerson’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

The Times Higher Educational Supplement described Hunt’s adaptation as “the best production of its kind to date,” while the Slings and Arrows web site notes that “in his introduction Gilbert Shelton, a man who knows, notes that Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem on which this book is based is lacking in humour, yet raises our spirits by explaining how Hunt Emerson more than makes up for it.


“Emerson takes the text and then extemporises wildly around it in the manner of a master jazz musician, sticking to the text, yet adding tone and colour. It’s perhaps going too far to suggest he brings out the hilarity that’s always lain within, but he certainly exacts just revenge on behalf of anyone who’s had to spend a term studying Coleridge’s opium-induced horrors… This should be the version distributed to English classes…”

Hunt Emerson’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Hunt Emerson’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

“Sight gags abound, depicting Coleridge’s descriptions with an askew and inventive way such as ‘ice mast high came floating by’ illustrated as giant ice creams bobbing about in the sea,” noted Lew Stringer when the book was re-released back in 2008. “I could go on, but dry text such as this doesn’t do such scenes justice. Better to buy the book and enjoy it for yourself as each page is a delight.”

The book includes the complete original poem with Coleridge’s notes.

Buy The Rime of the Ancient Mariner direct from Knockabout’s eBay store

Buy The Rime of the Ancient Mariner from Amazon (Affiliate Link)

The SEQUENTIAL digital edition is available here

• Hunt Emerson Official Site:

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The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.

Categories: British Comics, British Comics - Books, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News

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