Friday, September 10, 2010

Shakespeare...comic book style?

Shakespeare doesn't strike me as the type of stuff you read via comic strip, but I'm willing to give it a fair shake if my kids become interested in Shakespeare as a result. So when I saw this book on the shelf at our favorite local used bookstore, I was intrigued to put it mildly. Elizabeth, who attends an art school which instills a love of Shakespeare at an early age anyway, practically squealed when I handed it to her.

Marcia Williams apparently has quite the repertoire of comic book style illustrated classics, which I discovered after googling this book. What a fun introduction to the classics for the millennial generation, raised on Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Ugly Doll comics. With quotes from the plays and her own narration at the bottom of the pictures, Williams does a great job bringing the text to elementary level without making the style seem compromised.

I really love the illustration of Macbeth. The darker haze as a backdrop to each illustration really lends the perfect mood.

Elizabeth was particularly excited that A Midsummer Night's Dream was included since next year as a fifth grader she'll be performing this play with her class at school. Because each section of the comic strip is made to look like the staged play, I think it really gives them a good feel for watching the play performed, but in a kid-friendly manner.

Are any classics popular in your house right now?


  1. For the purists out there, this book contains Hamlet, Winter's Tale & The Tempest as well. I was disappointed to find, however, that it does not contain the line "exit, pursued by a bear."

  2. This looks so cool and - Paul - thanks for answering the question that I was going to ask...

  3. interesting...i have loved shakespeare since 5th grade...attempting to act out king lear and macbeth with the neighborhood gang...these would have come in handy! love it!