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Manga Shakespeare: The Tempest

Words by Richard Appignanesi

Art by Paul Duffield

Paperback, 208 pp, £9.99

"We are such stuff as dreams are made on," proclaims Prospero, the sorcerer. Robbed of his dukedom, he is marooned on a wild island with his daughter Miranda. After years in exile, he conjures a storm that shipwrecks his usurping brother and political enemies. A fusion of the original Shakespeare with manga visuals, this is a cutting-edge adaptation set after the energy crisis of the 21st century has plunged mankind into a second Dark Age. Those who keep technology alive are 'sorcerers'. Prospero's 'magic' reveals stories of love too easily won, freedom from slavery and a royal power struggle.

The Tempest 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.

Paul Duffield

Paul Duffield is a comic creator, illustrator, animator and designer. He is well known for his work on Freakangels (with Warren Ellis) and for his adaptation of The Tempest for SelfMadeHero's Manga Shakespeare series. He has also worked with a number of other clients, including Marvel, Dark Horse, the BBC and NASA. Duffield is currently working on The Firelight Isle, a long-form graphic novel and webcomic, alongside his post as a designer and art director at the weekly story comic The Phoenix

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