Of late many classic titles - including the Bible - have been
turned into manga, in a 21st-century version of the venerable
Classics Illustrated comics. This take on the Bard boils his play
down to approximately 20 words per page, drastically abridging the
text, though keeping intact the original language and meter. A
fully colored dramatis personae reduces the characters to sound
bites and shines in comparison to the flat, gray-toned images that
murkily tell the story itself. As drawn by Brown, the characters
are decidedly more Western-looking in their styling than is typical
to most manga, and the adaptor's choice of setting is an
anachronistic mishmash of quasi-antique and modern, a choice that
will leave sophisticated readers knowledgeable with the text
slightly puzzled. The Tempest (ISBN: 978-0-8109-9476-8), drawn by
Paul Duffield, follows an identical template. These attempts to
convert Shakespeare into visual language fall flat, although the
slick manga styling alone may attract some new readers to these
works. (plot summary, author's biography) (Graphic fiction. 13
& up) (Kirkus Reviews)
THESEUS. Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour Draws on apace; four
happy days bring in Another moon; but, O, methinks, how slow This
old moon wanes! She lingers my desires, Like to a step-dame or a
dowager, Long withering out a young man's revenue. HIPPOLYTA. Four
days will quickly steep themselves in night; Four nights will
quickly dream away the time; And then the moon, like to a silver
bow New-bent in heaven, shall behold the night Of our solemnities.
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