Classical Comics - Helping kids get hooked on classics

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Classical Comics is a new publishing company creating graphic novel adaptations of literary classics. 

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Clive Bryant, the founder of Classical Comics says, “I was looking for a way to get younger readers interested in classical literature, and to break down the barriers that stop them from getting hooked on reading. It struck me that we could use a comic book format to present these works – to make Shakespeare as “cool” as Spiderman”. And so the idea was born, - but it didn’t stop there. They decided to tackle the language barrier of the Shakespearean scripts, and devised a unique three-tier system:

* Original Text – the full, unabridged script
* Plain Text – a modern English version of the text
* Quick Text – the full story, but with reduced, simplified dialogue

All three versions feature the same artwork; only the word balloons change. A reader can gain a full understanding of the plot, characters and motives from the Quick Text version, later progress onto the Plain Text version and further on to the Original Text. Alternatively, a reader can go straight to the plain Text, or the Original Text.

Their first title, Henry V, is a full colour graphic novel with supporting text explaining Shakespeare’s life and times, the real story of the Battle of Agincourt, and it even includes a “behind the scenes” look at how the artwork was created.

Classical Comics will follow this up with a string of titles including Macbeth, Jane Eyre, Great Expectations, Frankenstein, A Christmas Carol, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet and Richard III. We will be featuring them all.

By drawing on a wealth of talented artists and scriptwriters, Classical Comics has ensured each and every book remains faithful to the original works; and by providing alternative text levels, has created a unique, exciting and totally engaging reading experience. There really is something for everyone.

Patrick Stewart, award winning Stage and Screen actor applauds Classical Comics’ pioneering graphic novel adaptations of Macbeth.

He said: I’m fascinated by your  approach... I find them gripping, dramatic and, although for me the original  Shakespeare is always my reason for turning to these plays, I think that what you are doing in illuminating and making perhaps more lucid, especially for  young people, is clever and meaningful.

To find out more click here to read an article written by the Times Educational Supplement.

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