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Manga Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing

Words by Richard Appignanesi

Art by Emma Vieceli

Paperback, 208 pp, £9.99

"This can be no trick!" When Benedick overhears the news that his old flame and fiercest critic Beatrice devotedly loves him, he can scarcely believe his ears. Nor can Beatrice, when she hears her friends say that Benedick is hopelessly pining for her. Nor can Claudio, when he overhears his fiancée Hero in another man's bedroom. And now Hero is reported dead. It all adds up to another case for Constable Dogberry, perhaps the stupidest policeman on record. This manga recreation of Shakespeare's tricksiest comedy plays out its serial deceptions and counterfeits against the operatic backdrop of a later Italian landscape. But don't believe everything you hear...

Much Ado About Nothing is part of Manga Shakespeare, a series of graphic novel adaptations of William Shakespeare's plays. Drawing inspiration from Japan and using Shakespeare's original texts, this series – adapted by Richard Appignanesi and illustrated by leading manga artists – brings to life the great Bard's words for students, Shakespeare enthusiasts and manga fans.

Emma Vieceli

Emma Vieceli is a UK-based comics artist. Her graphic novels include the New York Times-bestselling Vampire Academy (Penguin Random House) and Avalon Chronicles (Oni Press). She is currently working on the Alex Rider series for Walker Books and Doctor Who for Titan Comics. Vieceli has provided guest art for Young Avengers (Marvel), Jem & The Holograms (IDW) and Dead Boy Detectives (Vertigo).

Richard Appignanesi

Richard Appignanesi is a PhD graduate in classical art history. He was a founder and co-director of the Writers & Readers Publishing Cooperative, and later of Icon Books Ltd, where he served as originating editor of the internationally acclaimed illustrated Beginners and Introducing series, to which he contributed his own bestselling titles, Freud, Postmodernism, Existentialism and others. A former executive editor of the art journal Third Text, reviews editor of Futures and exhibition curator, Richard is the author of the fiction trilogy Italia Perversa, the novel Yukio Mishima’s Report to the Emperor and the Granta title What do Existentialists Believe? For SelfMadeHero, he adapted the texts for the Manga Shakespeare series, as well as The Wolf Man and Hysteria in the Graphic Freud series.


"If I have my way, comics will play their part in the literacy debate. My son has no interest in English at school, but has devoured three Manga Shakespeare graphic novels, plus the graphic novel of Kafka's The Trial." 
— Ian Rankin
"This series does in book form what film director Baz Luhrmann did on screen – make Shakespeare cool and accessible to a younger generation… [the] artists use the dynamic flow of manga to give Shakespeare's plots an addictive page-turning energy."
— Independent on Sunday