On the day of The Wedding it seems appropriate to review Markosia’s Kate and William: A Very Public Love Story, their take on the story that will climax in Westminster Abbey round Noon today. Written by Bleeding Cool’s Rich Johnston and illustrated by Mike Collins on the bride’s side and Gary Erskine on the groom’s side, the book version of the tale combines the two separate comics, Kate Middleton: A Very Private Princess and William Windsor: A Very Public Prince, into one double length flipbook.
It is a safe bet that you already know the plotline so suffice to say that the book takes both its hero (beginning at the “back” of the book) and heroine (beginning at the “front”) from their childhoods to their appearance on the steps of Westminster Abbey as a married couple, which is shown as a centrespread in the middle of the book. Writer Johnson tells the two separate stories as snippets from their lives with Kate’s in a girl’s diary format and William’s as newspaper style headlines. As the story reaches St Andrew’s and their lives intertwine, so the two stories show some of the same incidents from both sides including the now famous fashion event with Kate in the see-through dress.
The Kate story works better, possibly because it is less familiar, but more likely because it seems to have fewer jumps in the narrative showing as it does Kate falling for William while in the William version they are apparently suddenly a couple.
It is interesting to see how the two artists deal with the similar subject matter. Collins take on the Kate story makes the characters more elegant than Erskine’s more accurate style on the William story, but they are well assigned to their stories as I can’t imagine the book working at all if the two had have been swapped around. Indeed the one major event that they both cannot get away from is that dress and Erskine’s take is typically accurate, based on the available photos and showing what the audience saw, while Collins take is rather more glamorous and possibly more in keeping with what William thought he saw.
The book is good, not great, but good and an interesting addition to the biographical comics that are becoming more prevalent nowadays. Personally I think that my interest in it will increase in the years to come as a record of how the couple were perceived today, much in the same way that I find DC Thomson’s Princess Margaret: Told In Pictures, that was issued in time for her wedding over half a century ago, fascinating as a period piece.
In the end it doesn’t really matter what any reviewer says about this book. If you are already sick of hearing about the wedding then you won’t be touching it with a barge pole (but still no doubt making the most of your Friday holiday) while if you are sitting in front of your TV with your union flag ready to wave as the couple recreate the book’s centrespread and step out onto the Abbey steps as man and wife, you probably already have it.
• There are more details of Kate & William: A Very Public Love Story, and the two separate comics it comes from, on the Markosia website.
Categories: British Comics