By Chris Wilson
In the middle of a moss-cobbled stone room sits an iron cauldron bubbling with the sweat and suffering of souls. Around it stands the witches three, each with a bone to mix the pot. With their cackles they stir and chant and create their delicious abomination boiled on the backs of the bards of old.
They are the fates born anew, three modern goddesses of treachery, disgust and brilliance. Telling a story we know, yet know not, these new fates share an eye, a tooth and a yarn that is as beautiful as Roman paintings and as strong as Greek architecture. Beware, dear reader, for Conor McCreary, Anthony Del Col, and Andy Belanger are not just soothsayers or trinket sellers. They are conniving, insidious creatures who offer you -- the disciple, the reader, the Shakespeare teacher -- a companion to the Bard.
KILL SHAKESPEARE is a story worthy on its own, but as an educational tool it offers a new experience for study as a fictional myth built upon the original. KS calls forth the protagonists Hamlet, Othello, Juliet, and Falstaff and pits them against the antagonists Richard III, Lady Macbeth and Iago while Will plays the part of an apathetic creator/god. The juxtaposition of the KS story and the characters against the original plays is not only creative but genuinely academic. More to the point, it gives the school room scholar an avenue to explore the poet and his classics in new light and from new perspectives. KS could be read before, in conjunction with, or after the plays. Nonetheless, it should be read. If one chooses to exclude it from scholarly investigation, so be it. KILL SHAKESPEARE is a hoot and holler. I’m in hopes that teachers will see it for its academic benefit as well as its appeal to younger readers.
Fire up the cauldron, pull up a dusty leather chair, light a candle and fall in love with comics, story, and Shakespeare all over again.
Chris’ Rating: High school and older
Bloodshed, apparitions, and complexity make this best for older teens.
An educational companion to KILL SHAKESPEARE is forthcoming. We plan to review it when it comes out later this year, so keep your web browser peeled.
Authors: Conor McCreary and Anthony Del Col
Illustrator: Andy Belanger
Colors: Ian Herring
Format: Trade paperback
Color: Full color
ISBN-13 (vol. 1): 978-1600107818
ISBN-13 (vol. 2): 978-1613770252