Comic creator, raconteur, Comic Art Masterclass tutor and Sock Puppet maestro Kev F Sutherland is currently running a Kickstarter for his second Shakespeare-inspired graphic novel, The Prince of Denmark Street, a retelling of King Lear set in the world of 1970s punk!
Kev published his terrific debut graphic novel, Findlay Macbeth, back in March, thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign.
After we interviewed Kev about his first graphic novel, Findlay Macbeth, earlier this year, Kev kindly sent us a copy. To say it’s a bit of a savage satire on the cut throat world of sales and marketing would be an understatement… it’s both that, and a funny modern telling of Macbeth, with some great cameo characters, too, not least of them a Billy Connolly look-a-like!
That graphic novel clearly went down a treat with many others, too, as the new campaign for Kev’s new book, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet, relocated it to London’s Tin Pan Alley in 1977 has been a fantastic success – but of course, more backers are always welcomed!
In the new story from Kev, Joe ‘Prince’ Macbeth and his band The Danes are an up and coming punk act heading for success. But when young Hamlet discovers the story behind the death of his father, he goes a little off the rails.
“This 120 page graphic novel is based on, and features much of, Shakespeare’s original,” Kev outlines, “but includes plot twists and shock revelations that, I hope, you won’t see coming.
“It’s comical, tragical, historical and musical too. (There’s even the track listing for an imaginary soundtrack album of the book).”
As well as the 120-page comic story, printed in manga paperback format, Kev has included the full text of the play of Hamlet, which he’s also illustrated.
“I’ve aimed to make the book accessible to readers of all ages,” says Kev, “and I think it works as a good way of experiencing Hamlet the play itself (albeit with some changes). Let’s just say, if you’re old enough to read the words and see the violence in Shakespeare’s play, then you’re old enough to read Prince Of Denmark Street.
“I hadn’t expected to be producing this, my second graphic novel, so soon after the first,” Kev reveals. “But when lockdown happened in March 2020, all my school visits (at which I deliver my popular Comic Art Masterclasses) and all my planned book and comic festivals were cancelled. This has resulted in a book that I’ve taken twice as long to draw as its predecessor, and I think this is reflected in the quality of the finished work.”
Kev F Sutherland is a writer and artist on comics as diverse as Beano, Doctor Who Magazine, Marvel’s Doctor Strange and Star Trek, Oink, VIZ, Zig & Zag’s Zogazine, Red Dwarf Smegazine, and dozens more.
He writes and performs the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre and makes regular appearances as a comedian, presenter, and general know-it-all on TV and radio, as well as teaching kids how to create comics in his popular Comic Art Master Classes. He’s even appeared as a despairing advisor on The Apprentice