Manga Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing. William Shakespeare. 2009. Ill. Emma Vieceli. Adapted by Richard Appignanesi. 208 pages.
Don Pedro of Aragon comes this night to Messina.
Without a doubt Much Ado About Nothing is my favorite and my best when it comes to Shakespeare. The love story between Beatrice and Benedick is among my favorite of all times. Of course, this isn't their story alone. There's also Hero and Claudio's romance. But. For me, this one is all about Beatrice and Benedick. And how hate can melt away into love...with a little help from their (interfering) friends.
I haven't always loved Manga Shakespeare. Some adaptations work better for me than others. Some I really don't quite understand or get. And others I think are quite well done. This one, Much Ado About Nothing, is practically perfect. (My second choice would probably be A Midsummer Night's Dream.) I even loved the art by Emma Vieceli. You can see sample spreads here. The story was easy to follow. And I found it easy to recognize the characters. (Something that can be more than a little tricky with other Manga Shakespeare titles. And since there is no he said, she said, if you don't recognize the character based on the art alone, then you can get a little confused as to who's saying what.)
Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever,
One foot in sea and one on shore,
To one thing constant never:
Then sigh not so, but let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into Hey nonny, nonny.
Sing no more ditties, sing no moe,
Of dumps so dull and heavy;
The fraud of men was ever so,
Since summer first was leafy:
Then sigh not so, & c.
So I'd definitely recommend Much Ado About Nothing, any way you can get it. The original play, the manga adaptation, and, of course, the movie.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
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