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Manga Shakespeare: Richard III

Words by Richard Appignanesi

Art by Patrick Warren

Paperback, 208 pp, £9.99

"I am determined to prove a villain," vows the sinister Duke of Gloucester as he prepares to seize the English Crown and become King Richard III. A fusion of the original Shakespeare with manga visuals, this is a cutting-edge adaptation set in a darkly gothic, medieval England. We follow the scheming, seductive Duke as he cheats and slaughters his way to the throne in one of the bloodiest chapters in the monarchy's history. He masterminds the murder of his brother and his two nephews, and poisons his wife in order to marry his own niece. When his throne is challenged, his reign of terror is broken and the ghosts of his victims return to torment him.

Richard III 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.

Patrick Warren

Patrick Warren is a London-based comics artist and illustrator. After illustrating Richard III and Henry VIII for SelfMadeHero's Manga Shakespeare series, he moved into the video game industry, working as an animator, artist and designer. He has since returned to the world of comics and illustration.

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.


"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
"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