This month the lovely folks over at NEO Magazine
have begun an exclusive serialisation of our forthcoming Dicken's adaptation, A Tale of Two Cities
. If you've not read the original story, don't worry! All we'll say about it in this post is that it's regarded as one of Charles Dicken's finest works and it involves a case of mistaken identity during the French Revolution; plenty of murders; some courtroom drama and moonlit dashes between London and Paris on horseback. You can find out a little more here.
For the art of A Tale of Two Cities, illustrator Ryuta Osada teamed up with another of SelfMadeHero's favourite artists,Robert Deas. Rob worked as colourist on this project, producing a beautiful, period palette that distinguishes the London and Parisian scenes even at a glance. NEO reviewer John Turner puts it like this:
''Deas...creates an atmospheric world of death and shadows... with Osada's detailed depictions"
The final member of the …Two Cities creative team was adaptor, David Zane Mairowitz, who had just adapted Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness with Catherine Anyango before getting down to work on …Two Cities. David chose a path through Dickens’ epic work that follows Sydney Carton, our dissolute hero, who cuts a path through London’s Soho and the backstreets of Paris’s St. Antoine district to the blood-soaked Bastille as the story unfolds.
An interesting thing about the production of this graphic novel is that, like Dickens original, it is a tale of more than one city. The adaptor, David Zane Mairowitz, lives and works in Avignon, France. The artist, Ryuta Osada, lives and works in Tokyo, Japan and Colourist, Rob Deas, lives and works near Leeds. [Ed. Note to Rob – why couldn’t you live and work in London for the purposes of this post!] As far as I know, none of the creators made even a single moonlit flit between London, Paris or indeed Tokyo. Ryuta did however bring a little bit of Tokyo with him in his storytelling style. As John Turner for NEO magazine notes:
"whilst this version of A Tale of Two Cities isn't marketed as manga, it is probably closest to the purist's ideas of what makes a manga'"
If you know NEO magazine, you won’t be surprised by that …Two Cities is being serialised there as it’s 'Britain’s leading Manga and Anime monthly'. Ryuta’s a manga artist at heart and, despite …Two Cities being illustrated in graphic novel style, manga fans will see Eastern storytelling techniques alongside the predominantly Western comic book narrative devices.
If you haven't seen any of Ryuta or Rob's work before then an excellent introduction to their work can be found in theirManga Shakespeare titles, available from our online shop. Similarly, if you have not enjoyed any of David’s adaptations forSelfMadeHero then you’ve missed a treat.
With the books hitting the shelves at the beginning of September at Amazon, Waterstone's, Gosh! and all decent comic shops nationwide from September 2nd, I can hear you wondering – what the heck are they doing now?
A scene from Macbeth
This piece is re-posted from the SelfMadeHero blog (apologies for cross posting!)