Kieran Fisher reviews Squirm & Learn: Death By Shakespeare…
Without writers like William Shakespeare, the comic book medium probably wouldn’t exist. He’s a cornerstone of literature, whether you like his work or not, which you might not if it was forced on you at school. However, his work has either directly or indirectly inspired most storytellers throughout the centuries, and the fact his writing is still being celebrated, read, re-adapted and performed to this day is a testament to his legacy. That being said, Squirm & Learn: Death By Shakespeare is one of the more original tributes you’re likely to find – and certainly one of the funniest.
Dead Canary Comics have garnered acclaim through their diverse output since their inception. From western-horror hybrids such as the haunting Reddin; to raunchy laugh-out-loud satire like the hopping mad Frogman, the independent publisher has quickly established itself as a company to be reckoned with. If you’re a comic book fan, you owe it to yourself to enter their bird-cage and never look back. Now they’ve decided to further demonstrate their versatility even further by releasing an illustrated guide dedicated to all of the deaths in Shakespeare’s entire body of work, just in time to coincide with the 400th anniversary of his passing.
Squirm & Learn: Death By Shakespeare is a walk-through of all the writers macabre moments, with every murder, suicide and death by natural causes included. Naturally, in true Dead Canary fashion, there’s a ghoulish sense of humour imbued throughout, and the quirky animations would give Shakespeare himself a chuckle. It marks the latest collaborative project between Matt Longstaff and Chris Walker, whose sole dedication is to make us laugh and learn as the title would suggest. Here, they’ve succeeded, as this humble writer who isn’t very well versed in Shakespeare’s entire literary catalogue now knows a bit more having read and laughed at this.
This latest release from Dead Canary Comics not only further typifies their unpredictability, but it equals the previous entertaining output the company has released. Matt Longstaff and Chris Walker once again prove to be a dynamic duo of devilish delights, and if this is your introduction to them, you’ll be pleased to meet their acquaintance. You don’t need to know the subject matter it’s referring to in order to enjoy it, but by the time you’ve finished reading it, you’ll know a whole lot more, even if it does focus on the punchlines. So whether you’re already a fan and want to the darker side of his stories presented through gloriously animated visuals, or you’re just looking for the cliff notes and punchlines, then give this a try.