Graphic Novel Review: Kill Shakespeare Vol 3: The Tide Of Blood

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If I wanted to give a comic book reader a quick idea of Kill Shake­speare I'd prob­ably say it's like Fables only with you know… Shake­spearian char­ac­ters. Because, well, it is. Which is cool, because I like Fables.

Pulling this off with char­ac­ters and settings from prob­ably the best known name in western liter­a­ture is a bit more diffi­cult than shuf­fling around already heavily used fairy tale char­ac­ters though. There are certain expec­ta­tions here.

One thing you won't get is full on Shake­spearian verse. The writer makes no effort to mimic Shakespeare's writing style in that sense. He does pull out the thees and thous on a regular basis though and also throws in some clever nods and refer­ences to various bits of dialogue that most of us will recog­nize. It's prob­ably for the best. More than that would likely have been distracting.

In this universe Shake­speare is a creator. He's the creator of most if not all of the char­ac­ters we  meet and interact with. Being the third volume in the series, you are expected to know some­thing about what is going on by this point, but I found it pretty easy to get up to speed and if you can't… well there's always wikipedia right?

The story itself is a fairly simple one, but effec­tively told and it's inter­esting to see how the familiar names and char­ac­ters slowly twist and morph outside of their tradi­tional stories. It doesn't entirely feel like a complete story though. I mean this adven­ture does reach and end, but it just feels like it's all set up for the next one. A minor criticism.

In terms of art, it's quite cartoony and yet seems to fit the mate­rial very well. Andy Belanger clearly has a firm grip on story­telling and uses panels effec­tively on the page. In places it does seem choppy and abrupt, but again that fits with what is happening in the story at the time.

Not a must read book, but certainly inter­esting. I'd say give it a look, partic­u­larly if you like things like Fables.

Kill Shake­speare Vol 3 will be released on October 1st 2013: http://​amzn​.to/​1​8​Z​2​NMY

3 / 5 stars     

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