Thursday, August 20, 2009

Getting to Know: SelfMadeHero and Manga Shakespeare Part 3

Please read Part 2 of the interview before reading Part 3

SelfMadeHero + Manga Shakespeare continuation

Now, knowing that Shakespeare’s writings and Manga are two different mediums and concepts, the company had to figure out how to balance the writings of Shakespeare and the artistic style of manga. They balanced both the writing and the art by using the abridgement of the text. This was “necessary because it needed to work with the medium.” According the Hayley, “the point of this beautiful medium is not to have pages of talking heads, but to ‘show’ and not ‘tell’, combining visual poetry with textual poetry.” So what does it mean to use an abridged version of the writing? If the full text of William Shakespeare’s writings were used, then it “would have meant ignoring the nature of manga. Imagine pages and pages of talking heads of Hamlet as he delivers his monologues?” If the original writings approach were applied, then the resulting affect would be the loss of the readers’ attention to the series. “The integrity of the manga genre must be preserved if the adaptation is going to work at all.

Even though the target audience are interested in Manga Shakespeare, what about the educators? Do they approve of such adaptation? Well, here are some of the responses provided by Hayley, and you tell me how the series have been doing.
“This whole series is developing into a very useful resource as it has such resonancy with youngsters” 
- School Librarian Magazine UK (Winter 2008)

“the Manga Shakespeare series... is abridged, but this should not be seen as problematic, given the exceptional support the series offers readers in understanding the narratives and language of the plays. Varied angles, pacing and page layout create a great deal of interest and support and direct the reader.”
– Dr Mel Gibson, National Teaching Fellow and visual literacy expert

“Watch out! SelfMadeHero’s Manga Shakespeare books are seriously good. Students are reading them for pleasure!”
– Anne Walker, School Librarian, Leeds

“It’s great to see Shakespeare become cool again, by taking these timeless dramas and placing them in fresh, relevant contexts that will excite and challenge modern readers. Welcome to the 21st century, Will.”
– Gavin Lees, Secondary English Network Leader, Livingstone
“The terrific response to the first books released in the series far exceeded my expectations. We have continued to publish more titles in the series” and by May 2009 they have published 12 Manga Shakespeares in the United Kingdom. I think they have been doing good, don’t you? ☺
© 2009 Linda Thai

Stay tune for Part 4!
Thank you ABRAMS Books for letting me use the cover image!

No comments: