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Kill Shakespeare Volume 1 Paperback – November 9, 2010


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Kill Shakespeare Volume 1 + Kill Shakespeare Volume 2 + Kill Shakespeare Volume 3: The Tide of Blood
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Product Details

  • Series: Kill Shakespeare
  • Paperback: 148 pages
  • Publisher: Idea & Design Works Llc (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600107818
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600107818
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 6.8 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #278,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

A narrative device that could easily have crashed and burned instead proves engaging and, at times, enlightening in this clever extrapolation of the Bard’s narratives and characters. Foulest of the foul, tyrant Richard III and the seductive Lady Macbeth trick an anguished Hamlet into a quest for the quill of a mysterious wizard known as William Shakespeare. Though in the care of the king’s man Iago, Hamlet soon finds himself in the company of the deceptively buffoonish Falstaff, who brings him before Othello and Juliet, leaders of a rebellion against the king. Though its heavier on action than Shakespeare ever was, authentic interpretations of the cast (particularly master manipulator Iago and the rascal Falstaff) and several scenes faithful to the playwright’s themes make for a much more enjoyable read than many Shakespeare-phobic students are likely to expect. The art opens up the world and offers some impressively imagined backgrounds at the same time that it keeps the characters grounded and real and the entire production appropriately theatrical. A grim epilogue promises more in the offing. Grades 9-12. --Jesse Karp

Review

A narrative device that could easily have crashed and burned instead proves engaging and, at times, enlightening in this clever extrapolation of the Bard's narratives and characters. Foulest of the foul, tyrant Richard III and the seductive Lady Macbeth trick an anguished Hamlet into a quest for the quill of a mysterious wizard known as William Shakespeare. Though in the care of the king's man Iago, Hamlet soon finds himself in the company of the deceptively buffoonish Falstaff, who brings him before Othello and Juliet, leaders of a rebellion against the king. Though it's heavier on action than Shakespeare ever was, authentic interpretations of the cast (particularly master manipulator Iago and the rascal Falstaff) and several scenes faithful to the playwright's themes make for a much more enjoyable read than many Shakespeare-phobic students are likely to expect. The art opens up the world and offers some impressively imagined backgrounds at the same time that it keeps the characters grounded and real and the entire production appropriately theatrical. A grim epilogue promises more in the offing. --Jesse Karp -- Booklist, Issue: November 15, 2010

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Customer Reviews

I guess this would have been fine if I cared about the story, but I didn't.
H. Frederick
So many different characters and plots from the plays are thrown at you that it's hard to figure out some of the references if you haven't read the plays in a while.
Andy Shuping
This is a very interesting and unique take on the characters of Shakespeare's work and how they would interact with one another in the same world.
Brian Tillman Evans

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. A Magill VINE VOICE on March 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
Kill Shakespeare is a work of vaulting ambition. Sent away to England after accidentally killing Polonius Prince Hamlet is attacked by pirates. He awakens to find himself in the court of none other than the villain Richard III. Richard feigns goodness and offers Hamlet a deal: he'll resurrect the prince's father in exchange for Hamlet killing the wizard Shakespeare and bringing back his magical quill. While Hamlet accepts the commission, he quickly realizes that all is not what it at first seems; A group of Richard's subjects, known as Prodigals, are in open rebellion, led by Juliet, Othello, and Falstaff.
Vaulting Ambition proves valiant dust

The premise will no doubt bring Bill Willingham's "Fables" to mind for many readers. //Kill Shakespeare// likewise takes well known characters and tries to combine and grown them in ways both entertaining and unexpected. Just as I won't be the first person to make this comparison, I suspect I won't be the only one to conclude that, despite many strengths, Kill Shakespeare proves wanting.

Series creators Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col have a demonstrable affection for this material, but will irk many readers with short comings in both textual understanding and language. Most crucially of all, the writers rarely make the creative leap into taking these well known characters in directions that are both novel and engaging (Iago and Lady Macbeth being two delightful exceptions). More often than not, the writers move these iconic characters in the opposite direction, reducing their depth in the service a rather convoluted narrative.

These criticisms may be made harsher by a combination of my love of Shakespeare and my high expectations of this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Andy Shuping on August 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
If you're a fan of Shakespeare and a fan of the Fables series by Bill Willingham, then this comic should be right up your alley. The authors take the world of Shakespeare and turn it upside down. The characters are self aware and realize that there is some higher power that controls their world, but one faction seeks to kill this higher power--Shakespeare, and take his power for their own. At the center of the battle is Hamlet who has been case out of his home and finds himself in a strange land with two groups battling to control him, for they fear and hope that he is the one that can be the final piece of the puzzle.

Here's my word of advice...brush up on your Shakespeare before reading this volume. So many different characters and plots from the plays are thrown at you that it's hard to figure out some of the references if you haven't read the plays in a while. The overall story is decent enough although it does suffer a little bit from some gaps in the transitions and trying to cram a lot into the page which can prove to be a bit overwhelming.

The artwork isn't bad, although it appears that the characters can never be happy as they always look angry or confused...mostly angry. It fits well with the story, but there isn't anything that just jumps out at you as amazing. It lacks some of the polish that you can find in some series, such as Fables or "Y: the Last Man" and so background colors can overwhelm the foreground or both just blend together a bit.

It's an interesting series and I'll keep any eye on it. I just wish I didn't have to bone up on all of the plays to make sense out of some of the characters or places mentioned.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Everett Robert on December 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
As a comic book fan and a Shakespeare fan I was delighted to find this Vol. 1 TPB at a Borders. I flipped through the pages, but decided to buy it, based on the introduction from Darwyn Cooke and an endorsment from Patton Oswalt on the back.

I was not disappointed. This is a fun, fresh take on Shakespeare while obviously owing a debt to Fables and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Taking Shakespeare's familiar characters and putting them in a "shared" universe. Where Falstaff meets Hamlet, where Don John and Othello fight, where Richard the III has an agreement with the McBeths and mentions Titus and Lear.

The writing is sharp with plenty of references to Shakespeare's works. Some are subtle (Hamlet washes ashore in Richard's kingdom thanks to a "tempest"), others not as subtle (a whorehouse where Falstaff disguises himself as a woman is called "The Merry Wives of Windsor") and some are funny (a pub called "Bottom's Up"). There are also several lines spoken that came from various Shakespearean plays. Authors McCreery and Del Col know what they are writing abou t. Hamlet has a fine mixture of pathos, whining, uncertainty, and heroism. Iago is perfectly deceiving and Falstaff is just PERFECT!

The artwork I'm less impressed with. It's good, and the characters don't shift. It's certainly not the worst artwork I've seen out of IDW (their Expendables comic comes to mind), but I guess I was looking for something cleaner and not so comic like. Personal opinion of course.

Overall a 4 star review and I can't wait to see where Vol 2 takes us.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By H. Frederick on April 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
Hamlet is exiled to England after his father's untimely death. On the journey, his ship is attacked, and he washes up on shore at the feet and mercy of Richard III. Richard claims that Hamlet has been sent to fulfill prophecy as the Shadow King. He is the only one who can find the wizard, William Shakespeare and kill him. Others, however, have different ideas about this prophecy. They believe the Shadow King is to find Shakespeare, but return him to them and deliver them from the evil Richard. Richard desires to obtain Shakespeare's quill, which holds vast amounts of power; the people wish to overthrow his tyrannical rule.

So. I can pretty easily say that this is the worst graphic novel I have ever read. My boyfriend informs me that I've been spoiled. I only started reading graphic novels about 3 years ago, and in that time I've had nothing but the greats to consume--Sandman, Watchmen, Fables, Transmetropolitan, etc. I only recently started branching out and selecting my own graphic reads beyond what's been recommended to me. My first selection was American Vampire, which was very decent if not the love of my life; the second was A Flight of Angels. I loved it, it was visually the most beautiful graphic novel I've read to date, and the story was there to back it up. To me, Kill Shakespeare failed on both accounts.

What did I expect from Kill Shakespeare? Well, every little blurb kept screaming at me "THIS IS LIKE FABLES BUT WITH SHAKESPEARE INSTEAD OF FAIRY TALES". And I suppose it would be. If Fables had half-hearted art, no character development, and rushed plot lines. So needless to say, I had expectations that were a fair bit higher than what was delivered to me.
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