Graphic Novel Review: Kill Shakespeare Vol 3: The Tide Of Blood


If I wanted to give a comic book reader a quick idea of Kill Shake­speare I’d prob­a­bly say it’s like Fables only with you know… Shake­spear­ian char­ac­ters. Because, well, it is. Which is cool, because I like Fables.

Pulling this off with char­ac­ters and settings from prob­a­bly the best known name in west­ern liter­a­ture is a bit more diffi­cult than shuf­fling around already heav­ily used fairy tale char­ac­ters though. There are certain expec­ta­tions here.

One thing you won’t get is full on Shake­spear­ian verse. The writer makes no effort to mimic Shakespeare’s writ­ing style in that sense. He does pull out the thees and thous on a regu­lar basis though and also throws in some clever nods and refer­ences to vari­ous bits of dialogue that most of us will recog­nize. It’s prob­a­bly for the best. More than that would likely have been distract­ing.

In this universe Shake­speare is a creator. He’s the creator of most if not all of the char­ac­ters we  meet and inter­act with. Being the third volume in the series, you are expected to know some­thing about what is going on by this point, but I found it pretty easy to get up to speed and if you can’t… well there’s always wikipedia right?

The story itself is a fairly simple one, but effec­tively told and it’s inter­est­ing to see how the famil­iar names and char­ac­ters slowly twist and morph outside of their tradi­tional stories. It doesn’t entirely feel like a complete story though. I mean this adven­ture does reach and end, but it just feels like it’s all set up for the next one. A minor crit­i­cism.

In terms of art, it’s quite cartoony and yet seems to fit the mate­rial very well. Andy Belanger clearly has a firm grip on story­telling and uses panels effec­tively on the page. In places it does seem choppy and abrupt, but again that fits with what is happen­ing in the story at the time.

Not a must read book, but certainly inter­est­ing. I’d say give it a look, partic­u­larly if you like things like Fables.

Kill Shake­speare Vol 3 will be released on Octo­ber 1st 2013: http://​amzn​.to/​1​8​Z​2​NMY

About Eoghann Irving

Overly opinionated owner and author of eoghann.com. You can get updated on his posts directly on the blog here or through the usual social networking suspects. What? You expected me to say something interesting here? That's what the blog posts are for. Eoghann has often wondered if people read these little bio things we have to fill out everywhere on the internet and, assuming they do, why?