Patrick Stewart Supports Classical Comics’ Macbeth

Acclaimed Shakespeare actor and Star Trek star Patrick Stewart has applauded Classical Comics‘ pioneering three-tier dialogue graphic novel adaptation of Macbeth.

Classical Comics - Macbeth - Plain Text Version

“I’m fascinated by your approach… I find them gripping, dramatic and, although for me the original Shakespeare is always my reason for turning to these plays, I think that what you are doing in illuminating and making perhaps more lucid, especially for young people, is clever and meaningful,” he said.

The internationally respected actor, known for successfully bridging the gap between the theatrical world of the Shakespearean stage and contemporary film and television, has given his seal of approval to Classical Comics’ pioneering three-tier dialogue approach, in particular its forthcoming graphic novel adaptation of Macbeth.

Patrick Stewart’s recent stint in Macbeth at the Gielgud Theatre in London garnered him several awards – including Best Actor at the Evening Standard Awards, and the prize for Best Shakespearean Performance at the 19th annual Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards (which he shares with Chiwetel Ejiofor for Othello) – and the production transfers to New York’s Brooklyn Academy of Music on 12 February.

With its revolutionary three-tier dialogue approach, Classical Comics presents a brand new and inclusive view of the sheer genius of Shakespeare’s storytelling. Macbeth, arguably Shakespeare’s most dramatic tragedy, certainly one of his greatest works, features stunning artwork from Marvel/Spider-man illustrator Jon Haward and comic strip illustrator Nigel Dobbyn, and script adaptation by author John McDonald.

Each of Classical Comics’ graphic novel adaptations of literary classics is published in three versions: Original Text – the full, unabridged script; Plain Text – a modern English version of the original script; and Quick Text – with reduced, simplified dialogue for easier and faster reading.

Classical Comics’ Clive Bryant explains the thinking behind this: ‘We wanted to spread a joy and appreciation of literacy, and particularly to target readers in key stages 2 and 3. Often children of that age are forced to read Shakespeare, but they struggle to get past the language. The comic book format and three text versions will undoubtedly help with their understanding. By providing these three text versions, which are all on the same artwork, we allow a reader to absorb the story at Quick Text level, proceed onto Plain English, and then onto the Original script. That way, they understand the play and can appreciate the beautiful language that Shakespeare used. We believe that we’ve created a way for readers to enjoy these fantastic stories regardless of their age or their reading ability’.

Having been told by young readers that they were bored by the Bard, Classical Comics set out to make Shakespeare as energetic and colourful as Spider-man. With its new series of graphic novel adaptations of literary classics, Classical Comics has succeeded in bringing Shakespeare to life, with striking full-colour artwork depicting the drama, emotion and action scenes in an exciting, captivating way. 

Macbeth is published on Monday 25th February 2008.

Macbeth and Henry V are Classical Comics’ first books in its range of graphic novel adaptations. Other great literary novels receiving the Classical Comic treatment include: Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre (Summer 2008), Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations (Autumn 2008), and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (Summer 2008).

The books retail at £9.99 each, and are available from Amazon, and all good bookshops nationwide.

Check out Classical Comics at

Categories: British Comics, British Comics - Current British Publishers, British Comics - Graphic Novels, Comics, Creating Comics, downthetubes News

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