Check out these covers, scanned from my collection. I love them:
Chintzy, no? But they're my kind of chintz. (There's no accounting for lack of taste.)
Understandably, William B. Jones, Jr. is down on this series--after all, it stole its material and altered the texts. But I dig these for the black and white CI art reprints and, as I've already confessed, the tacky covers, most of them derived from splash page art (save for Frankenstein, which was blandly redone from the awesome line-drawn cover for that number). Here, by the way, are some interior page samplings:
Here are some covers from my stash:
There were bios, also:
Below, I've scanned the back-cover promo pages for Now Age, AGS, and Lakewood. Notice the resemblance?
Picture Classics had a different back-cover blurb which listed two additional titles--The Great Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Three Musketeers:
And, if you can find it, the Filipino National Classic Comics (a.k.a. National Classic Illustrated) series is quite nice, judging from the one issue (The Turn of the Screw, art by Jun Lofamia) in my collection. These are contemporary with the Pendulum Press titles, and were even more CI-inspired.
Here are some cover images, all swiped from on-line, save for my reissue of Turn of the Screw, which had a Classics Illustrated logo added. I'd sell the farm for the NCI Time Machine!
Other possibilities: Another Filipino series, Famous Classics Illustrated (wonder what line those were based on??). Those look pretty cool (I have yet to land one). Or, original series-wise, you can find a mint copy of Westward Ho! (Classics Illustrated, No. 14) if you've got the dough. And only if the CI collector on your list is a really, really close friend.