Edgar Allan Poe in pop culture: the origins of horror

Edgar Allan Poe in pop culture: the origins of horror
Edgar Allan Poe in pop culture: visionary with a damned existence; horror master who transposed the terror of the evil of living and society into his works; tormented author in whose wake many other writers have established themselves who have drawn on his particular way of making literature, to perfect it and create many other unforgettable classics. Edgar Allan Poe was this and much more, if we think for example that we could entrust to him the authorship of the crime genre and that, in addition to his stories, the literature has also been enriched with beautiful poems.

L influence of Poe on the authors who succeeded him, making him in fact a master and a point of reference, as well as his life, marked not only by debauchery and dramas, but also by a premature end still enveloped today by a certain halo of mystery, has undoubtedly made him a cultural icon that has established itself over time and that still continues to be talked about, now in that comic strip that portrays one of his stories, now in a quote in a song, now with the his unmistakable figure.

Let's find out together where Edgar Allan Poe can be traced in modern and contemporary pop culture.


The production of comics that recreate the stories narrated by Poe under the symbol of drawing and ball oon is almost incalculable. Although the task of adapting his stories to comics can sometimes be difficult, the stories they contain lend themselves well to reviving in illustrations. Just think that the American magazine Classics Illustrated has produced numbers containing Poe's stories and poems for almost its entire life span, that is from '44 to '69, as well as Warren Publishing, the publishing house that owns comic magazines for adults, he has dedicated several releases to the author of Boston.

all over the world, the presence of Edgar Allan Poe in pop culture has been transmitted through the works to fumett and, in this view, there is no shortage of Italian publications . Among these, we can cite the comic named Edgar Allan Poe , signed by Dino Battle and enclosed in the series dedicated to the Italian author, published by NPE Editions : a work is illustrated, in which Battle he revisited some of the stories written by the master of horror. Edgar Allan Poe: the Anthology Comic , published by Magic Press, can be certainly one of our list: inside, you can find a whole series of illustrated stories by some famous authors of the panorama of comics, Jamie Delano, Leah Moore, John McCrea , and many others.

Edgar Allan Poe: the Anthology of Comics, the collection of Magic Press, which you can find by clicking here .

The only novel Poe was then enclosed, for example, in the comic English The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym , was published by Stone Arch Books, and signed by Manuel Morini and Enrique Alcatena , while Richard Corben has adapted several short stories by the author of Boston in a series of comics published by Dark Horse , as the Spirits ot the Dead, The Fall of The House of Usher, The Murders in the Rue Morgue .

Edgar Allan Poe in pop culture, however, it appears also as a protagonist : there are so many, in fact, the works in the comics, who see the presence of the author, in the guise of a talking character or a simple cameo. You can find so Poe in american magazines like the Crazy Magazine and MAD , but also Zagor as a special agent, under the code name “ Raven “; in the series, Batman Nevermore , in which the author of the Boston collaborates with the bat man in the resolution of some of the mysterious cases, or even, in the number of Scooby Doo titled Cravin’ The Raven, in an character called Edgar Allan Jones takes the Mystery Inc. to find a manuscript of Poe's stolen from one of his rivals. Then there are the stories-parody in which the writer is the unfortunate protagonist in the comic book series of Edgar Allan Poe's Snifter of Terror (particularly irreverent covers inspired by the most famous posters of the film ).

Film and TV

Edgar Allan Poe is a pop culture occupies a place also for what concerns the cinema and television productions . Roger Corman has directed, for example, several films in the ’60s, inspired by the stories of the writer: the Pit and The Pendulum, Tales of Terror, the Living and The Dead, The Mask of the Red Death, The Tomb of Ligeia, The Magicians of Terror and Buried Alive . Already from the years ’30 and ’40, however, the cinema could not do without that to remain fascinated from the works of Poe and adjust it for the big screen, as with The Black Cat (Edgar G. Ulmer), The Crime of Doctor Crespi (John H. Auer), mr. Miracle (Robert Florey).

we Find, however, several films that refer to the author of Boston in more recent times, for example with The Raven , a film directed in 2012 by James McTeigue starring John Cusack, Luke Evans and Alice Eve ; Two Eyes Diabolical , a film of the 1990's in two parts directed respectively by the masters of the horror film, George A. Romero and Dario Argento ; Extraordinary Tales by Raul Garcia , a series of animated short films enclosed in a single film that pays homage to Poe and his tales of terror. How can you not remember, then, the citation to the poem The Raven is made in the film The Crow 1994 Brandon Lee knocks on the door of a pawnshop as the raven of the poem, tapping out to the door of the protagonist, way then in the store accompanied by the creature of the winged that terrorizes the owner. Finally, it seems that Sylvester Stallone has announced to be working on the screenplay for a biopic dedicated to the life of Edgar Allan Poe.

The film, The Raven, James McTeigue, to watch on Amazon Prime Video by clicking on this link .

The author from the iconic mustache and the expression vaguely regretted then makes its first appearance on TV: we find Edgar Allan Poe in pop culture thanks to South Park , in the episode Dawn of The Poser , in which is evoked the spirit of the writer; the Simpsons , who devote themselves to poetry, The Raven, a part of the episode in The treehouse of V , in which Homer becomes the protagonist of the poem, scared by a crow in the shape of Bart Simpson, who croaks a “Ciucciati the sock!” from the top of a bust that depicts Poe; also Supernatural dedicates one of its episodes to the master of horror, in the episode Nevermore that involves the brothers Sam and Dean Winchester in the resolution of a series of mysterious murders tied to the narratives of the author of Boston.


The progressive group The Alan Parsons Project has dedicated an entire album to the works of Poe: their first publication in the study of the 1976 called Tales of Mystery and Imagination – Edgar Allan Poe , a concept album in which the titles of each piece are based on the stories of the author. The proof that you can find Edgar Allan Poe in pop culture also through the music we find another concept album inspired by his works, composed this time by Lou Reed and released in 2003 under the title the Raven .

Famous then the piece of the 1981 Iron Maiden , Murders in The Rue Morgue , which is entitled, according to the story, a detective story featuring the character Auguste Dupin , but also to Annabel Lee by Stevie Nicks , which incorporates one of the most beautiful poems of Poe, not to mention the numerous pieces of rock, progressive, metal active all over the world who have celebrated the author with their music and their lyrics.

Finally, it seems that Debussy had been working for a work based on the narratives of Edgar Allan Poe: between 1908 and 1917, the composer wrote a symphony in a single act, which, however, remained incomplete, La Chute de la Maison Usher, based on the famous the Fall of The House of Usher.

The album of The Alan Parsons Project, in an exclusive edition that you can find by clicking here .

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