This graphic-novel take on the Bard’s Macbeth retains all of the original wording.
Chan’s (Romeo and Juliet, 2018, etc.) choice to use Shakespeare’s unabridged text makes the presence of the imagery all the more important. Illustrator Choy (Romeo and Juliet, 2018, etc.) stays true to traditional manga style, portraying the white European characters with large eyes and delicate facial features. The art allows for visual clarification, offering clues to help readers who might struggle without it: Scenes such as the floating dagger or the ghost of Banquo sitting in Macbeth’s chair at the banquet are rendered more accessible through the illustrations. Close-up views of facial expressions give clues to the characters’ feelings, qualities, and even their sanity. The black-and-white shaded art conveys changes in Macbeth’s personality throughout the story (softer and kinder at the beginning; more cunning and shadowed near the end), making the darker turns the story takes visible in a concrete way. While Shakespeare and manga may not seem like an obvious pairing, the illustrations here provide the visual entertainment and clarification that are integral aspects of enjoying a play.
Readers of the classics may become manga fans, and manga fans may find the world of classic literature opening up to them thanks to this creative adaptation. (cast, creators’ notes) (Graphic fiction. 12-18)