September 30, 2014

Review: The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth

The Stratford Zoo By Ian Lendler
Art by Zack Giallongo
Available now from First Second (Macmillan)
Review copy

At night, at the Stratford Zoo, the animals escape their enclosures - some put on a play, others watch.  In THE STRATFORD ZOO MIDNIGHT REVUE PRESENTS MACBETH, a lion stars as a Macbeth who keeps eating his enemies and a lioness as a Lady Macbeth who has very stubborn laundry.

This kid-friendly retelling of Macbeth is vibrant and funny.  Artist Zack Giallongo (BROXO) delivers bright art with creative use of panels and frequent side gags.  Author Ian Lendler distills Macbeth to its essence and adds a bit of ketchup.  The frame story, of the other animals reacting to the play, inject some humor to the tragedy, which is a great way to keep the younger audience interested.

Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's greatest plays and THE STRATFORD ZOO MIDNIGHT REVUE PRESENTS MACBETH does it plenty of justice, even if it is an irreverent take.  All of the famous moments are translated, even though the page count is quite lean.

I thought THE STRATFORD ZOO MIDNIGHT REVUE PRESENTS MACBETH was absolutely hilarious and charming.  I certainly hope it is the beginning of a series of graphic adaptations of Shakespeare.  It's a crowded field, but this effort stands out.


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