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Essay Review: Comics Go Classic…Again

by Michael Bitz - April 10, 2008

We adults do some extraordinary things to engage children in the literature of William Shakespeare. A company called Flocabulary sets Shakespeare verses to hip-hop beats. They advertise: “After a 400 year hiatus, Shakespeare is back on the mic, fresher than ever” (Flocabulary, 2008). The Animated Shakespeare puts the bard’s words into the mouths of cartoon characters. In this vein of edutainment, the publisher Wiley—producer of CliffsNotes—has put forth the Manga Editions of Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth, edited by Adam Sexton and illustrated respectively by Tintin Pantoja, Hyeondo Park, Yali Lin, and Eve Grandt with Candice Chow. Manga is the Japanese incarnation of the comic book medium, with roots in narrative picture scrolls dating as far back as the twelfth century in ancient Kyoto. Like our familiar comics such as Superman and Archie, manga are artistic-written sequential narratives built upon rectangular boxes, or panels, that frame a story... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: April 10, 2008
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15206, Date Accessed: 6/23/2021 6:56:49 AM

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About the Author
  • Michael Bitz
    Teachers College, Columbia University
    E-mail Author
    MICHAEL BITZ, Ed.D., is the founder of The Comic Book Project (www.ComicBookProject.org) and cofounder of the Youth Music Exchange (www.YouthMusicExchange.org). He is the inaugural recipient of the Mind Trust fellowship in educational entrepreneurship and was awarded the Teachers College Distinguished Alumni Early Career Award.
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