Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Shakespeare, comics and Star Trek

After yesterday's post on Shakespeare manga at the Folger, I was emailed a press release about a British Shakespeare comic series which was blurbed by Patrick Stewart. Stewart's on Broadway now in Macbeth, but I saw him two decades ago in DC talking about Shakespeare. Here's a letter that I sent the NY Times that they didn't run:

I was very glad to see the long Arts article, "To boldly go where Shakespeare calls" (January 27, 2008) on Patrick Stewart's return to Shakespeare. As an undergrad at George Washington University in Washington DC, I saw Mr. Stewart give a lecture on Shakespeare around 1985. The event was sponsored most likely by the English department and was in a small room in the student union. It was probably underpublicized and Mr. Stewart had not yet become famous as Capt. Picard, but his talk, "Iago and Other Strangers" was one of the best lectures on Shakespeare I've seen. It ranked favorably with Ian McKellan's one-man Shakespeare show which I saw a year or so later. I rode the elevator down with Mr. Stewart and told him how much I enjoyed it, but it still strikes me as a shame that so few saw his talk. I have often wished that he'd put out a cd of that talk.

Shakespeare adapted in comics has appeared off and on for a few decades now - mostly with uninteresting adaptations - but I've got high hopes of some of these new ones, and will try to review a series of them in the International Journal of Comic Art. I've got a bibliography of earlier attempts around somewhere too that I can post if there's any interest.

And, since they made me think about this again, here's the full PR on the British Shakespeare books:

Patrick Stewart applauds Classical Comics’ pioneering three-tier dialogue graphic novel adaptation of Macbeth

I’m fascinated by your approach... I find them gripping, dramatic and, although for me the original Shakespeare is always my reason for turning to these plays, I think that what you are doing in illuminating and making perhaps more lucid, especially for young people, is clever and meaningful - Patrick Stewart

The internationally respected actor, known for successfully bridging the gap between the theatrical world of the Shakespearean stage and contemporary film and television, has given his seal of approval to Classical Comics’ pioneering three-tier dialogue approach, in particular its forthcoming graphic novel adaptation of Macbeth. Patrick Stewart’s recent stint in Macbeth at the Gielgud Theatre in London garnered him several awards - including Best Actor at the Evening Standard Awards, and the prize for Best Shakespearean Performance at the 19th annual Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards (which he shares with Chiwetel Ejiofor for Othello) - and the production transferred to New York’s Brooklyn Academy of Music on 12 February.

With its revolutionary three-tier dialogue approach, Classical Comics presents a brand new and inclusive view of the sheer genius of Shakespeare’s storytelling. Macbeth, arguably Shakespeare’s most dramatic tragedy, certainly one of his greatest works, features stunning artwork from Marvel/Spider-man illustrator Jon Haward and comic strip illustrator Nigel Dobbyn, and script adaptation by author John McDonald.

Each of Classical Comics’ graphic novel adaptations of literary classics is published in three versions: Original Text – the full, unabridged script; Plain Text – a modern English version of the original script; and Quick Text – with reduced, simplified dialogue for easier and faster reading. Classical Comics’ Clive Bryant explains the thinking behind this: ‘We wanted to spread a joy and appreciation of literacy, and particularly to target readers in key stages 2 and 3. Often children of that age are forced to read Shakespeare, but they struggle to get past the language. The comic book format and three text versions will undoubtedly help with their understanding. By providing these three text versions, which are all on the same artwork, we allow a reader to absorb the story at Quick Text level, proceed onto Plain English, and then onto the Original script. That way, they understand the play and can appreciate the beautiful language that Shakespeare used. We believe that we’ve created a way for readers to enjoy these fantastic stories regardless of their age or their reading ability’.

Having been told by young readers that they were bored by the Bard, Classical Comics set out to make Shakespeare as energetic and colourful as Spider-man. With its new series of graphic novel adaptations of literary classics, Classical Comics has succeeded in bringing Shakespeare to life, with striking full-colour artwork depicting the drama, emotion and action scenes in an exciting, captivating way.

Macbeth was published on Monday 25 February 2008

Macbeth and Henry V are Classical Comics’ first books in its range of graphic novel adaptations. Other great literary novels receiving the Classical Comic treatment include: Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre (Spring 2008), Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations (Summer 2008), and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (Summer 2008),

The books retail at £9.99 each, and are available from Amazon, and all good bookshops nationwide.

www.classicalcomics.com

press enquiries to: Helen Maleed
tel/fax: 020 7732 4624 mobile: 07986 235 855
email: helen@greendesk.demon.co.uk

Review copies available

Artwork samples available

www.classicalcomics.com

Following the success of its pioneering three-tier dialogue treatment of Henry V, Classical Comics publishes Macbeth, its graphic novel adaptation of, arguably, Shakespeare’s most dramatic tragedy, certainly one of his greatest works. With stunning artwork from Marvel/Spider-man illustrator Jon Haward and comic strip illustrator Nigel Dobbyn, and script adaptation by author John McDonald, Classical Comics’ presents a brand new and totally fulfilling view of the sheer genius of Shakespeare’s storytelling.

Classical Comics has devised a revolutionary three-tier dialogue approach; each book is published in three versions: Original Text – the full, unabridged script; Plain Text – a modern English version of the original script; and Quick Text – with reduced, simplified dialogue for easier and faster reading. Clive Bryant, of Classical Comics, explains the thinking behind this: ‘We wanted to spread a joy and appreciation of literacy, and particularly to target readers in key stages 2 and 3. Often children of that age are forced to read Shakespeare, but they struggle to get past the language. The comic book format and three text versions will undoubtedly help with their understanding. By providing these three text versions, which are all on the same artwork, we allow a reader to absorb the story at Quick Text level, proceed onto Plain English, and then onto the Original script. That way, they understand the play and can appreciate the beautiful language that Shakespeare used. We believe that we’ve created a way for readers to enjoy these fantastic stories regardless of their age or their reading ability’.

1 comment:

smile said...

Nice to meet you.
The blog that introduced Anime and Manga of Japan was started.

"NARUTO""Dragonball""Gundam""Rurouni Kenshin""One Piece""DEATH NOTE"
"NANA""EVANGELION""GHOST IN THE SHELL""STAND ALONE COMPLEX"
"Miyazaki anime"etc...

Please come to see at any time.
And, please paste the link.
Moreover, please teach interesting Anime.
It comes ..then...