Shakespearean Character Spotlight: Servant

Aha! At last, my first truly and totally insignificant Shakespearean Character Spotlight! Let's meet Servant!

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A Star-Wars-ian Night's Dream

So, the interwebs have been buzzing with the announcement of George Lucas's upcoming animated film Strange Magic, which is apparently "inspired" by Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. From the scant information that has been released, it seems that the inspiration begins and ends with the concept of there being magical creatures in a woods with a potion of some sort. Still, it's nice to think about what might come from this unlikeliest of mash-ups...

I apologize for the inclusion of Jar-Jar, but really, what Star Wars character better sums up "this is to make an ass of me"?

Shakespearean Character Spotlight: Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester

I started doing these Shakespearean Character Spotlights to cut down my workload. "It'll be easy," I thought. "I'll just randomly pick a character and give people a quick overview of him or her! I won't have to think up jokes or spend a lot of time on it!" I mean, how much time does it really take to profile Third Servant or Soldier?

And then what happens? My random number generator gives me this guy. He's in four plays. Four plays. It's not fair.

The historical Humphrey was a much more troubling person, prone to idiotic warmongering, alienating people and generally being a self-serving prick. But the image that got handed down was of Good Duke Humphrey, and so here we have him. 

In other news, I named a papier-mâché spider after Humphrey. He sits on my computer monitor at work and has a tiny top-hat made from a Post-It note. I was going to call him Richard, after the famous bottled spider, but thought that was too obvious, so I cast around for another Duke of Gloucester and settled on Humphrey. It's a very nice name, Humphrey.

Finally... have you signed up for The Weekly Tickle Brain e-mail newsletter yet? It's a super-awesome newsletter that I send out every Monday, and is stuffed with Shakespearean comic goodness, including a digest of weekly comics, a round-up of any extra material I have posted on social media, and an exclusive recommendation section where I rationally inform you about a Shakespearean-related book, film or TV show that I think is worth checking out. Or possibly I just gush about something for a couple paragraphs. In any case, it's SUPER FUN. Well, no one has complained about it yet...

Very Tiny Classic: The Iliad

Time for the second installment of my Very Tiny Classics series! Today we'll be taking a look not at Shakespeare, but at one of his classical influences: Homer's Iliad

It's all the fun of the Iliad, but it also doesn't last as long as a yellow traffic light and fits in your pocket! Let's take a look. 

If you want to print out and fold your very own Tiny Classics edition of the Iliad, download this pdf, print it out at full scale, and then follow these incomprehensible instructions to fold it into an adorable little mini-comic. To see more of my mini-comics, go here.

To learn more about the extremely fun art of mini-comics, check out these resources. Mini-comics are super-fun to make and distribute.

Shakespearean Character Spotlight: Jessica

I've seen three productions of The Merchant of Venice, but still don't feel that familiar with the play. Jessica seems to be to be one of those parts that is criminally underwritten. She has an immense impact on the play, and possibly is the root of Shylock's insane decision to claim his pound of flesh, but when you actually look at her speeches you find yourself wanting to know more. It's one of those parts that really needs an actor who can fill in the gaps in the text.(Shout-out to Sara Farb of the Stratford Festival, who was a remarkably poignant Jessica in their 2013 production.)

But regardless of how poignant the Jessica... trading your dead mother's ring for a monkey? That's just cruel, girl. 

In other news, have you signed up for The Weekly Tickle Brain e-mail newsletter yet? This week's edition will be going out on Monday, and will feature (a) a digest of this week's comics, (b) a round-up of all the fun stuff I've been posting while over-extending myself on social media, (c) my review of the most important Shakespeare DVD set in the world, and (d) a behind-the-scenes peek at how I draw my super-detailed and lifelike characters! Don't miss it! Sign up today! (I promise you can unsubscribe if you don't like it, and it won't hurt my feelings.)

Elections

As most of you probably know, the U.S. held its midterm elections yesterday. I generally aim to keep post-Stuart politics off of this blog, but I thought it might be fun to interview some of our favorite characters and find out what issues were important to them in this election. 

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It turns out none of them are U.S. citizens, and thus are ineligible to vote, so this entire comic was an exercise in futility. Oh well.