illustration ©
2003 Delynne Lorentzen


Born in rural Ohio in 1842, Bierce became a printer's apprentice for a small Indiana newspaper until 1860, when he enlisted in the Union army. He witnessed some of the major battles of the Civil War, and in 1864, at Kenesaw Mountain, was shot in the head and left for dead. Bierce recovered, though with lingering effects to his health. He remained in the army during the Reconstruction and a later mapping expedition in the West. When the mapping party reached San Francisco, Bierce was denied an expected promotion and resigned from the military in disgust. He then decided to pursue a career in journalism. He accepted a position as a columnist with the San Francisco News Letter and Commercial Advertiser and from there went on to edit The Wasp, a journal of humor, politics and literature. He later became associated with publisher William Randolph Hearst, and worked for the San Francisco Examiner, the New York Journal and Cosmopolitan. The selections from “The Devil's Dictionary” in Graphic Classics: Ambrose Bierce, and most of the short pieces and poems collected under the title “Bierce’s Fables”, originally appeared in Bierce’s newspaper and magazine columns. In his time, Bierce was a celebrity as a satirical columnist, but disappointment over a lack of acceptance of his fiction and a troubled personal life, including a divorce and the death of his two sons, caused him to become increasingly bitter and withdrawn in his later years. In 1913, at the age of 71, he crossed the border into Mexico, “with a pretty definite purpose, which, however, is not at present disclosable.” He was never heard from again.

Graphic Classics: Ambrose Bierce
(second edition)
144 pages, b&w, $10


Horror Classics:
Graphic Classics Volume 10

144 pages, b&w, $10


Graphic Classics 2012 Catalog
Free 9-page comics adaptation