Author: Emily Lauer

Shakespeare on the Page: A Better Way

I was recently rereading Manga Shakespeare: Twelfth Night, and found myself surprised all over again by how much I like it, and how well it works. The Manga Shakespeare series, published by Amulet/Abrams in the US & Canada or SelfMadeHero in the UK, uses a “manga” drawing style (but the western left to right reading order) to present a pared-down script of Shakespeare’s plays, keeping his original words. It’s good. I don’t usually appreciate comic book adaptations of “classics,” which are plentiful and often quite boring. Traditionally, a canonical literary text gets ruthlessly reduced and then shoehorned into a...

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Fun Home On the Page and the Stage

Small and Big, Close and Far, Same and Different The award winning Broadway musical Fun Home, based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir of the same name, is now on tour. By the time this goes to press, the production will most likely be in Schenectady. Or Providence. And somewhere else after that. Whenever shows go on tour, they need to re-position themselves for a specific audience and context in each new place. With Fun Home, of course, the musical has already done that. First, the creators adapted Alison Bechdel’s work for the stage, and then, when the production moved...

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Made Men #1 Lumbers to its Feet

Made Men #1 Paul Tobin (writer), Arjuna Susini (art), Gonzalo Duarte (colors), Saida Temofonte (letters) Oni Press September, 2017 Made Men #1 would have felt like fun progressive pulp in the late 50s, early 60s, but feels dated now. It tells the story, largely in first-person captions, of a young woman calling herself Jutte Shelley. Jutte is a pretty, blonde police officer whose team is ambushed by a group  who seem to be targeting her specifically. Readers learn that Jutte’s real last name is Frankenstein, and that she is descended from the even-smarter sister of the famous doctor. She...

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The Dracula File Offers Bite-Sized 1980s Horror

The Dracula File Gerry Finley-Day, Simon Furman and Ken Noble (writers); Eric Bradbury, Geoff Senior and Keith Page (artists) Rebellion: 2000 AD October 16, 2017 (Originally serialized in SCREAM! issues 1-15, 1984 and Holiday Specials 1985-1988) The Dracula File offers cozy horror nostalgia. Both the art style and the text—“Meanwhile, behind the Iron Curtain, a KGB officer was more than suspicious”—bring a contemporary reader back to the days of the mid-1980s, when heavy, sketchy black-and-white comics had thick panel borders and narrow gutters, and when vampires were not sexy. In fact, no one in this book is sexy, not even...

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Kid Sherlock #3: “Missing Equipment” by Justin Phillips and Sean Miller is Light and Fun

Kid Sherlock #3 Justin Phillips (writer and letterer), Sean Miller (pencils and inks), Lesley Atalansky (colors) Action Lab Comics August 23, 2017 In the third issue of Kid Sherlock, the playground equipment for classroom 221 at Baker Elementary has gone missing, and the eponymous kid Sherlock and his faithful pal Watson solve the mystery of where it has gone. As was the case for issues #1 and #2, it offers a fast-paced, child-appropriate plot with many references to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original Sherlock Holmes stories that a parent will enjoy catching. These references are light, and child readers...

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