The Bard's tale gets Japanese twist

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 March, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 29 March, 2010, 12:00am

Manga Shakespeare: Macbeth
By Robert Deas and Richard Appignanesi
Published by SelfMadeHero
ISBN 978 0 9552856 6 0

Taking a story out of its original format to tell it in a new way and different medium can be disastrous. How many novels have you loved, only to be bitterly let down by the film? Sometimes switching mediums can work only if the original isn't tampered with too much.

William Shakespeare wrote plays for an audience of 16th century Londoners, but the plots and characters were so strong that his works have been successfully adapted into movies, television serials, operas, musicals and novels.

SelfMadeHero's version of Macbeth is part of Manga Shakespeare, a series of graphic novel adaptations of the Bard's best-known works. This fast-paced adaptation, skilfully written by Richard Appignanesi with Robert Deas' powerful illustrations, relocates the setting from ancient Scotland to a futuristic, post-nuclear Japan full of devastated skyscrapers and hideous mutants.

Manga Shakespeare Macbeth is an ambitious, sword-slashing warlord, backed by Lady Macbeth, a ruthless geisha in thigh-high boots and a miniskirt. Together they form a murderous duo.

An eerie trio of snake-like witches predict great things for Macbeth, but first he must murder the present king to clear his path towards the ultimate power he wants to hold.