Reasons to Get Upset

May 29, 2007

As I see it, there are two good reasons to get upset about Shakespeare being turned into manga: outrage at the sheer audacity, or regret that they didn’t at least make them into good comics. Sadly, apparently they’re just not very good at all. A quick look from “Hamlet” will upset those of either persuasion (click to enlarge):

Here’s a snip from the review I linked to above:

The panels are a jumbled mess; the characters’ appearances vary considerably from page to page; the figures are posed without regard for anatomy or proportion; and the backgrounds are virtually non-existent. Vieceli’s rendering of Queen Gertrude offers a telling example of what’s wrong with these editions. Given her racy staging of the “Hamlet, thou have cleft my heart in twain” scene, it seems safe to say that Vieceli conceived of Gertrude as an attractive, middle-aged woman, not a nursing home candidate. But in some panels, Gertrude appears to be about 70 years old, with pronounced wrinkles around her eyes and mouth. Grandmother or MILF? The “cleft heart” scene is a whole different kettle of fish if Hamlet is beating up an old woman instead of chiding his youthful mother for her sexual behavior.




  1. Oh dear. One can only hope that manga readers will be inspired to seek out the Bard in his “natural setting” so to speak.

  2. Yes, I have to say that the first thing that jumped out at me about these was the lame, lame drawing skills. Looks like something a middle-schooler would do. That’s a shame.

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