Saturday, June 23, 2012

Kill Shakespeare at Graphic Novel Stage

Anthony Del Col, co-creator of Kill Shakespeare, spoke at the Graphic Novel Stage about the creation of the graphic novel and how they're continuing the development of the series. He describes the series as a combination of Lord of the Rings, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Shakespeare in Love. So essentially he and Conor McCreery squished together: classic Shakespeare, high fantasy, action-y graphic novel, and a rather sweet romantic movie, to create a book that reach and excite a new generation of readers.

Anthony and Conor first brainstormed the idea for this book nine years ago as a video game and then later realized that it would be better as a graphic novel. I liked his reasoning that Shakespeare is intended to be a visual performance not as a static literary form, thus making the transition to a graphic novel quite natural. So they took some of Shakespeare's best known characters as a jumping off point to suck people into Shakespeare. They've put their own spin on the storyline but stayed very true to Shakespeare's characterization of them. Clever.

Conor and Anthony are continuing to develop the series even though it has ended for now. They are continuing to develop it into different medium: video games, enhanced graphic novel applications, and movies. And unofficially it was announced that Anthony and Conor would be continuing the Kill Shakespeare universe, incorporating more of Shakespeare's characters. This new project could be out early 2013... but no promises.

I reviewed Kill Shakespeare a while ago, and really enjoyed the twist on the characters and the plays to be incorporated into one book. I think you can tell that the graphic novels were written by someone that knows and loves Shakespeare's works. So it was quite neat to actually hear one of the creators of the book speak about the genesis of the series. It didn't hurt that he was attractive.

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