Advertisement

Comics tackle Nancy Drew, 'Macbeth'

August 01, 2006|by HANNAH TUSSING

Review

Do Shakespeare and comic books have anything to do with each other? Could you actually read a comic book for an English literature assignment?

Many classic books are being transposed into comic form, called graphic novels. Even book series like Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys have been given a cool new makeover. The Hardy Boys are now part of ATAC (American Teens Against Crime) and Nancy Drew is using modern gadgets to crack her latest case.

The newest Nancy Drew graphic novel is "The Fake Heir" by Stefan Petrucha and Vaughn Ross; it's No. 5 in the series. The newest Hardy Boys graphic novel is "Sea You, Sea Me!" by Scott Lobdell and Daniel Rendon; it is also No. 5 in its series.

Advertisement

I have recently read "Black Beauty" and "Macbeth" in graphic novel form. "Black Beauty," written in 1877 by Anna Sewell and adapted as a graphic novel by June Brigman and Roy Richardson, has excellent artwork that set the scenes perfectly. Every three pages of the graphic novel stand for a chapter in the real book. Although you miss a few minor details, this is still a clear interpretation of Sewell's original work.

On the other hand, "Macbeth," written in around 1606 by William Shakespeare and adapted in graphic novel form by Arthur Byron Cover and Tony Tamai, is set on an alien world. There are dragons instead of horses and robots replacing servants. The language is the same, with parts of the most famous lines included.

Taking Macbeth out of Scotland and putting him on a distant ringworld makes things a bit confusing. Sometimes "Scotland" and "England" are thrown back into the dialogue, adding more perplexity.

These graphic novels are pretty good if you just want a basic understanding of some famous books, but I wouldn't try to pass an English test with them!

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|