Holy ‘Crime and Punishment,’ Batman! We’re great literature!

Struggling with right and wrong, haunted by the past, and brooding about the future, Batman was the prototypical troubled superhero — a strangely costumed vigilante with what one could call the heart of an obsessive Dostoyevsky character. Robert Sikoryak, an illustrator who’s drawn many New Yorker covers, has transformed that comparison from mere pop-culture observation into an unexpected work of art. His comic strip turns Crime and Punishment’s Raskolnikov into Batman, and renders his story in the visual style of mid-century comics.

Originally published in an anthology by the excellent graphic-novel/comic-book publisher Drawn and Quarterly, “Dostoyevsky Comics” is now available free in full-color scans on the Web. And while it’s a bit disconcerting at first to see the Caped Crusader whacking people with an ax, it works so well we’re hoping Sikoryak realizes the potential of The Brothers Karamazov as the Fantastic Four.

VIEW “Dostoyevsky Comics” (click on each individual page to open it in a large, readable window)

BUY The anthology that features “Dostoyevsky Comics”

SEARCH Ask.com for more information on “Dostoyevsky Comics”

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