Befittingly dark, atmospheric, and evocative.

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POE

STORIES AND POEMS: A GRAPHIC NOVEL ADAPTATION

Graphic-novel veteran Hinds turns his astute eye to Poe’s best-known tales.

After reimagining many classics including Beowulf, The Odyssey, and a smattering of Shakespeare’s plays, Hinds now takes on the poems and stories of Edgar Allan Poe. In “The Cask of Amontillado,” a dark palette suffused with ominous shadows and fiery earthen reds depicts the unnamed, white narrator as he leads foolhardy Fortunato into his own airless death. Those familiar with “The Tell-Tale Heart” will be delighted to watch the psychological drama unfold as Hinds conceptualizes the famously grisly details while playing with visually striking splashes of color to further accentuate the terror. Hinds also visualizes three of Poe’s poems: “Annabel Lee,” “The Raven,” and “The Bells,” though these poems stray from a traditional graphic-novel format, eschewing panels for expansive, page-filling illustrations with the verse text set against them. At the beginning of each piece, Hinds plainly lays out the recurring thematic elements of horror from his own “Poe Checklist”; for example “The Masque of the Red Death” warns its readers of “death, disease, and scary sounds.” Also included are historical notes about Poe and each vignette, making this volume equally valuable for classroom use or for independent reading.

Befittingly dark, atmospheric, and evocative. (Graphic adaptation. 12-adult)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8112-8

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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Even so, this remains Macbeth, arguably the Bard of Avon’s most durable and multilayered tragedy, and overall, this enhanced...

MACBETH

From the Wordplay Shakespeare series

A pairing of the text of the Scottish Play with a filmed performance, designed with the Shakespeare novice in mind.

The left side of the screen of this enhanced e-book contains a full version of Macbeth, while the right side includes a performance of the dialogue shown (approximately 20 lines’ worth per page). This granular focus allows newcomers to experience the nuances of the play, which is rich in irony, hidden intentions and sudden shifts in emotional temperature. The set and costuming are deliberately simple: The background is white, and Macbeth’s “armor” is a leather jacket. But nobody’s dumbing down their performances. Francesca Faridany is particularly good as a tightly coiled Lady Macbeth; Raphael Nash-Thompson gives his roles as the drunken porter and a witch a garrulousness that carries an entertainingly sinister edge. The presentation is not without its hiccups. Matching the video on the right with the text on the left means routinely cutting off dramatic moments; at one point, users have to swipe to see and read the second half of a scene’s closing couplet—presumably an easy fix. A “tap to translate” button on each page puts the text into plain English, but the pop-up text covers up Shakespeare’s original, denying any attempts at comparison; moreover, the translation mainly redefines more obscure words, suggesting that smaller pop-ups for individual terms might be more meaningful.

Even so, this remains Macbeth, arguably the Bard of Avon’s most durable and multilayered tragedy, and overall, this enhanced e-book makes the play appealing and graspable to students . (Enhanced e-book. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: The New Book Press LLC

Review Posted Online: Nov. 7, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2013

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A solid introduction for budding lovers of the Bard.

HAMLET

From the Campfire Graphic Novels series

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

The timeless tale of the young and disaffected Danish prince who is pushed to avenge his father’s untimely murder at the hands of his brother unfolds with straightforward briskness. Shakespeare’s text has been liberally but judiciously cut, staying true to the thematic meaning while dispensing with longer speeches (with the notable exception of the renowned “to be or not to be” soliloquy) and intermediary dialogues. Some of the more obscure language has been modernized, with a glossary of terms provided at the end; despite these efforts, readers wholly unfamiliar with the story might struggle with independent interpretation. Where this adaptation mainly excels is in its art, especially as the play builds to its tensely wrought final act. Illustrator Kumar (World War Two, 2015, etc.) pairs richly detailed interiors and exteriors with painstakingly rendered characters, each easily distinguished from their fellows through costume, hairstyle, and bearing. Human figures are generally depicted in bust or three-quarter shots, making the larger panels of full figures all the more striking. Heavily scored lines of ink form shadows, lending the otherwise bright pages a gritty air. All characters are white.

A solid introduction for budding lovers of the Bard. (biography of Shakespeare, dramatis personae, glossary) (Graphic novel. 12-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2019

ISBN: 978-93-81182-51-2

Page Count: 90

Publisher: Campfire

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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