My name is Adam Fisher (although I write under the pseudonym fisher king because there're so many Adam Fishers), I am a literature student and I'm... let's say I'm kinda into poetry.
Shakespeare's Sonnets, are arguably the most beautiful, tragic, mystifying and crazy compilation of words in the English language. For four hundred years they've been almost exclusively the domain of scholars and academics, and for four hundred years their dark magic has passed the rest of us by.
The goal of this project is to share with the world the incredible vision and the terrible brilliance of William Shakespeare's obsession, and I will attempt to tell the story of the sonnets in a way that's both exciting and accessible to the kind of people Shakespeare himself would have considered his audience - everyone, from the lowest of the downtrodden to the kings and queens of our age.
Well, this entire process has been a learning experience – I never fully considered the ramifications of there being nudity in the graphic novel, even if the mature content comprises only two pages.
A big part of my intention is to get the graphic novel into high schools, which with these two pages would clearly not be possible. So once the first issue is complete it looks like we’re going to have to produce two versions, one “sanitized” for schools.
I’m not sure what that will look like, but it would still have to be exciting and get the story across which will be a bit of a challenge. But challenges can be overcome!
One cannot read Shakespeare’s Sonnets coherently without understanding the framing story, which is based on Arthur Golding’s translation of the story of Narcissus and Echo from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Narcissus’ story begins with Lyriop entering the waters of the river Cephisus – and she’s in for a nasty surprise.
As the rain stops and the sun comes out, William stares into his reflection in the water that’s now pooled in Hamnet’s grave. Suddenly, he has a vision of blind Tyresias, seen as if he himself was Narcissus hearing the strange prophecy of his doom.
After Hamnet’s death, William had no sons to which to pass on his legacy. He would spend almost all of his remaining days composing the sonnets – “little songs” of “little sons” – to serve as his last Will(iam) and testament, as his poetic portfolio, and as a memorial to himself and his son.