The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0419  Friday, 29 June 2007

From: 		Dan Venning <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Wednesday, 27 Jun 2007 22:13:28 -0400
Subject: 18.0413 Classical Comics
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0413 Classical Comics

Graphic novels and comic strips have become quite literary in the last 
decade or so--by literary, here, I mean conscious of and referencing 
classics in literature.

Graphic novels and comic books are themselves often written like film 
scripts; for an example, here are a few pages from a 1997 script for the 
kids' comic THE TICK: 

My colleague at the Graduate Center (we're in the Theatre Department) 
recently presented a paper on the theatricality of a particular graphic 
novel--I haven't yet read her paper, but it won a major graduate student 

Neil Gaiman in particular has made a lot of use of Shakespeare and 
Renaissance history and literature in his works. His epic SANDMAN (a 
complete series in 10 graphic novels, the main themes are dreaming and 
storytelling), one of the best comics ever, in my opinion, has several 
sections on Shakespeare and on Renaissance history and characters. At 
one point, we see W.S. and the first performance of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S 
DREAM, and the final episode closing the comic is W.S. paying a special 
debt to the Sandman.

SANDMAN was written for DC Comics, but recently Gaiman published a novel 
with Marvel called 1602, in which he imagines the central Marvel 
superheroes (X-men, Daredevil, Spidey, etc.) in the year 1602, in 
England. I haven't fully read this one, but browsing it was fascinating.

Dan Venning

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