Indie Comic Corner: Kill Shakespeare
Everyone has a book that they loved/hated in high school that they were forced to read. There’s the standard fair of Lord of The Flies, The Great Gatsby, Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities. Personally, I hated Pride and Prejudice, with a passion normally reserved for loving Batman. There’s one author who is most reviled and revered, however, in the world of high school literature. William Shakespeare is a literary figure who polarizes most of the english speaking world. Some people love his work, maybe going on to study Shakespeare for a living, while others very much despise his work and the archaic language. I think the kind of people who make up the group of people who dislike Shakespeare can be separated into two types: teenagers who have been forced to read his work, and people who were forced to read Shakespeare in high school and have since moved on from that scholastic institution. It’s something all high schoolers are going to have to face at some point, so isn’t it about time we try and find a way to get high schoolers (and those who’ve grown out of high school) interested in The Bard?
Kill Shakespeare is the response to that feeling we have all felt. The story follows Hamlet (yup, that Hamlet) as he finds himself in a race to find the great creator, William Shakespeare. The story is set in a universe that is occupied entirely of Shakespeare’s character. Here you’ll find Lady Macbeth and King Richard III as the main villains, while Juliet, leader of a revolution, and Othello, her trusty mercenary bodyguard play the good guys. And Hamlet is caught in between it all. The villains want to seek out their mythical creator, and attain a special object that will give them the power to rule their world. On the other hand, the good guys (also known as The Prodigals) wish to find their creator and have him fight for their side against tyranny. A prophecy states that The Shadow King (that would be poor old Hamlet) is the only one who can find Shakespeare. That’s just some of what you’ll find in Kill Shakespeare.
The real beauty of the book however, is the writing. Kill Shakespeare is written in such a way as to cut through the difficulty of Shakespeare work, namely the language, and preserve the overall feeling of his work. Within the story, you see faithful representations and awesome retellings of Shakespeare’s epic works such as Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and Othello. There are even famous Shakespearian quotes scattered throughout the text! Not to mention the art works in tandem with the language, presenting faithful but ultimately more interesting and dynamic character designs than what you would normally see in a theatre production.
This book is great for adding some interest and excitement to old stories that most people might feel bored by, simply because of their school experiences. It overrides that automatic apprehension felt when confronting Shakespeare. Any teacher would be remiss not to have read this book and recommended it to their class!
Kill Shakespeare Vol. 1 (Collecting Kill Shakespeare issues #1-6)
Kill Shakespeare Vol. 2 (Collecting Kill Shakespeare issues #7-12)