A Mid-StarWars Night's Dream, Episode 1

For a while there I actually had a backlog of comics, like a responsible webcomic artist. However, what with one thing and another, I managed to burn through my reserve of comics. I thus found myself yesterday afternoon running around the house shouting "I DON'T HAVE A COMIC IDEA FOR TOMORROW".

And then I found a box of old Star Wars action figures in my closet and one thing led to another and I'm sorry but here you go:

Ironically, I think putting this together took more time than actually drawing a comic would have. There will be a few more of these, because now that I've started I can't just stop without playing with Han, Chewie, and Threepio, but then I promise I'll get back to proper comics. 

Folio Kerfuffle

I've returned from my very first Shakespeare Theatre Association conference, which was basically four days spent hanging out at the University of Notre Dame with a whole range of awesome Shakespearean theatre artists  and educators. They were probably four of the most exciting days of my Shakespearean life. For a more complete rundown of my conference experience, check out my most recent Weekly Tickle Brain newsletter

The highlight of the conference for me was meeting members of the Robinson Shakespeare Company. Aged 8 to 18, these kids meet once a week to work and play with Shakespeare, and put on two performances a year. They are AMAZING. They are far more comfortable speaking Shakespeare's language than I am, and can rattle of monologues from Cymbeline and The Winter's Tale like it's no big deal. If this is the next generation of Shakespeare practitioners, all I can say is that Shakespeare is in good hands. 

While I was there, the University of Notre Dame was playing host to one of the Folger Library's touring First Folios. Several members of the Robinson Shakespeare Company took part in the opening ceremony of the Folio exhibit, including these two stars in the making:

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They were super-excited to see the Folio, which was open to Hamlet, and immediately started reading The Big Speech.

Let's be honest... it totally says "fuffled off this mortal coil".

Macbeth: One Page Summary

20 weeks later and "A Stick Figure Macbeth" has finally come to an end. In case you're just joining me, here's what happened during the past 20 weeks:

Wow, I could have saved us all a lot of time if I had just started with this.

Stop by again next week for some all-new non-Macbeth Shakespeare comics!

Macbeth
Dramatis Personae | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18 | Part 19 | Part 20 | Part 21 | Part 22 | Part 23 | Part 24 | Part 25 | Part 26 | Part 27 | Part 28 | Part 29 | Part 30 | Part 31 | Part 32 | Part 33 | Part 34 | Death and Marriage Totals | One Page Summary

Macbeth: Death and Marriage Totals

The dust has settled a bit on the sad and sorry story of Macbeth, so let's take a look at who died and who got married:

This is not counting all the various animals and occasional people who fell afoul of the witches and got put into the cauldron. Those would increase the total a lot. THAT POOR TIGER NEEDED THAT CHAUDRON. I'M CALLING THE SPCA ON YOU, YOU FIENDS.

Tune in again on Thursday as we say farewell to Macbeth with a one-page summary of the entire play!

Macbeth
Dramatis Personae | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18 | Part 19 | Part 20 | Part 21 | Part 22 | Part 23 | Part 24 | Part 25 | Part 26 | Part 27 | Part 28 | Part 29 | Part 30 | Part 31 | Part 32 | Part 33 | Part 34 | Death and Marriage Totals

Macbeth, part 34

LET'S FINISH THIS THING UP

I wanted to make a joke about the tenuous nature of Macduff's claim to be not of woman born, but it's already been done, and much better, by this McSweeney's piece

Macbeth almost always gets decapitated offstage, because it's remarkably tricky to stage an on-stage decapitation. I did see Colm Feore as Macbeth get "decapitated" by a shovel at Stratford Festival once, though, so anything is possible. 

Tune in next week for our Death & Marriage totals and One-Page Summary of this whole bloody trainwreck!

Macbeth
Dramatis Personae | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18 | Part 19 | Part 20 | Part 21 | Part 22 | Part 23 | Part 24 | Part 25 | Part 26 | Part 27 | Part 28 | Part 29 | Part 30 | Part 31 | Part 32 | Part 33 | Part 34

Macbeth, part 33

THE STORY SO FAR: Cleverly disguised as trees, Malcolm and the English army are steadily marching towards Macbeth's castle at Dunsinane. 

Nobody really thinks you're trees, Siward and son. You're not fooling anyone. 

Probably my favorite generic Shakespearean stage direction is "alarums", or possibly "alarums and excursions". Basically what it boils down to is someone blowing a trumpet offstage while lots of other someones, usually carrying spears or swords, run back and forth across the stage. This happens a lot in Shakespeare.

Macbeth, part 32

HERE COMES BIRNAM WOOD

Famously, J.R.R. Tolkien was bitterly disappointed when he went to see Macbeth and, after everyone harping on and on about a forest moving towards a castle, it turned out to only be a bunch of guys holding twigs. Tolkien then went on to create the Ents of The Lord of the Rings who, to be fair, were a much more impressive bunch of moving trees. 

Macbeth's "tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow" speech (sadly truncated here) is one of the BIG SPEECHES, not just of this play but in all of Shakespeare. It's quite a corker when you take a look at it. Here are four top-notch Macbeths delivering it:

For added measure, here is Ian McKellen explaining the thought process behind his own interpretation of the speech, taking from his excellent (if somewhat self-consciously dramatic)  "Acting Shakespeare" show:

Macbeth
Dramatis Personae | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18 | Part 19 | Part 20 | Part 21 | Part 22 | Part 23 | Part 24 | Part 25 | Part 26 | Part 27 | Part 28 | Part 29 | Part 30 | Part 31 | Part 32