To be graphic novels, or not to be graphic novels? That is the question we tackled earlier this week with news of Marjane Satrapi and Chris Ware‘s distaste for the term. But some book news compels us to take a more literal approach. Next month, John Wiley & Sons will published manga-inspired, graphic novel versions of works by William Shakespeare. The books were developed by Adam Sexton, who teaches literature and writing at NYU and Parsons. He promises that these first-ever manga editions of the bard’s most popular plays (Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, and Romeo and Juliet) “combine the stunning effects of manga while remaining true to the original context.”
For the illustrations, Sexton turned to several alumni of the School of Visual Arts‘ BFA Animation and BFA Illustration and Cartooning Departments. Macbeth is illustrated by Candice Chow (BFA 2004 Animation), Hamlet by Maria Kristina “Tintin” Pantoja (BFA 2005 Cartooning), Julius Caesar by Hyeondo Park (BFA 2006 Cartooning), and Romeo and Juliet drawn by Yali Lin (BFA 2006 Cartooning). Meanwhile, Sexton isn’t stopping at Shakespeare. He’s planning manga versions of Mark Twain‘s Huckleberry Finn and Nathaniel Hawthorne‘s The Scarlet Letter, which will both be illustrated by Lin early next year.