[dropcap size=small]T[/dropcap]his week, Mallory Ortberg tells us about a new Dirtbag Shakespeare comic by Matt Lubchansky at The Toast. Dirtbag Shakespeare features some of Shakespeare’s protagonists (in this case, Prospero) behaving badly. For example, in the play, Prospero essentially steals the island from Caliban and makes both Caliban and Ariel his slaves. While post-colonialist criticism may have visited this land before (har har!), Lubchansky’s work (see his previous Dirtbag Hamlet, NSFW) mixes low-brow comedy and comic-style illustrations with a critique of the character’s actions in the plays. Goofy jokes that require intimate knowledge of the play? Yes, please.
Continuing with our lowbrow theme, let me remind you about the wonderful Pulp the Classics series. This cover brings us Mr. T (gold chains, mohawk and all) as Othello. We pity the Fool. There isn’t really a fool in Othello (unless you consider the main character a fool), but we pity him anyway.
More Elizabethan than strictly Shakespearean, but making the rounds this week is a series of photos by Sacha Goldberger called “Super Flemish” featuring modern superheroes costumed as Elizabethan folk. Take a moment to appreciate the intricate detail and jacquard fabrics on some of the seemingly-solid-color costumes. This cat has quite a ruff.
The Super Flemish crossover reminded me of this tweet that @Shakespeare tweeted this week:
My agent says I should, ah, “Marvel-ize my universe with cross-overs.” Next up: Dogberry vs. Falstaff.
— William Shakespeare (@Shakespeare) November 16, 2014
@Shakespeare also has a fantastic Twitter bio.
A beer company rewrote Shakespeare’s soliloquy to sell beer, and it’s fantastic (the rewrite; I haven’t tried the beer). To beer or not to beer? That is my question.
The crowd at Flavorwire has gathered a list of novels that feature famous authors as characters. Our own Will makes several appearances on the list. I confess, despite my extensive reading of Jane Austen/vampire crossovers, I haven’t read most of the Shakespeare fanfic (or, historical fiction) they’ve listed. My personal favorite fictionalization of Shakespeare, I should tell you, is The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber. Shakespeare appears mainly in retrospect in the novel, but it’s terribly exciting–like reading a Guy Ritchie movie, but with chapters of Elizabethan English thrown in for variety. You won’t be disappointed.
In addition, this week Flavorwire also has a collection of goods (available for purchase right now!) featuring literary misquotations. This one is from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, and is a misquotation of the line from whence the name of this column was inspired: “All that glisters is not gold” (MoV II.vii.65). Actually, I’m going to cut them a little slack on this one, because some of the newer editions do use “glitters” instead of “glisters.” But only a little slack, because it is still printed on a belt buckle that appears to be framed in a metal that is clearly not gold. Or maybe it’s meta. Meta metal. Still not gold, though.
[dropcap size=big]O[/dropcap]ther pieces of glitter (some more gold than others) this week:
A “remix the sonnets” project, which Shakespeare Standard covered last fall, turns out to be pretty fantastic in publication as well. D. Gilson’s project has been published in a book called Out of Sequence: The Sonnets Remixed (Parlor Press). I love this idea; I found that I never really understood sonnets until I tried to write one. D. Gilson called for submissions and got “remixed” Shakespearean sonnets as texts, tweets, selfies, and in the style of Chaucer (that’s quite a range). Can’t wait to see this in print.
There’s also this fantastically complicated Venn-type diagram of Romance, War, Suicide, and the Supernatural in Shakespeare’s plays from the Lyceum Education Solutions Tumblr. Where do War, Romance, Suicide and the Supernatural intersect? (Spoiler alert: it’s Macbeth.) I’m not sure I agree with the whole diagram, but I hate to quibble with such an interesting graphic.
I’d also like to credit @bardfilm with drawing my attention to his articles with three links featuring the Doctor (of British TV series Doctor Who) watching Shakespeare:
If you are a fan of the Doctor, or if you are interested in Shakespeare as cultural phenomenon, you’ll love these. The clips and wonderfully descriptive articles about each can be found on bardfilm.com.
Remember: All that glisters is not gold.