"To be, or not to be" is the question made famous in William Shakespeare's Hamlet. "How do we get kids interested in Shakespeare?" is the question that inspired Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery to create their comic book series Kill Shakespeare. In the series, Del Col and McCreery pit the playwright's greatest heroes against his most menacing villains. The Bard's famous leading men and women (Hamlet, Falstaff, Juliet, Romeo, Othello and Puck) embark on a heroic journey to find a reclusive magician to assist them in their battle against the evil forces led by Lady Macbeth, Richard III and Iago.
Kill Shakespeare is being used as reading material in a number of schools across Canada and has the support of Albert Shultz, artistic director of Toronto-based theatre company Soulpepper, British playwright Tom Stoppard and the New York Times, But not everyone is on board with Del Col and McCreery's spin on the Bard's great works. Kimberly Cox, a Shakespearean scholar and partner of comic creator Frank Miller, has been critical of Kill Shakespeare. She feels the comic book creators didn't properly research Shakespeare's famous iambic pentameter style, and as such, have done him a disservice.
What do you think? Is Kill Shakespeare doing more harm than good, or have Del Col and McCreery found a great new way to introduce Shakespeare to students?