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Prince of Cats

Romeo Remixed: Ronald Wimberly’s ‘Prince of Cats’ Is Comics As Cross-Media Hip Hop

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Ronald Wimberly is hardly the first person to note the similarities between Shakespeare’s poetic dialogue and hip hop, and stage a performance of the former in the trappings of the latter. Nor is Wimberly the first to note the parallels between modern gang culture and the warring houses in Romeo and Juliet. Nor is he the first to extrapolate an entire new story based on a minor character in one of Shakespeare’s plays.

He may, however, be the first to do all of that simultaneously, while including other elements of apparent personal fascination, and the first to do so in the comics medium. The result is the original graphic novel Prince of Cats, originally released by Vertigo and recently remastered and reissued by Image. The book stars Juliet’s cousin Tybalt, the “fiery” dueler who is mocked with the words that give the book its title. The dialogue reads like Shakespeare, the action moves like manga, and it looks like nothing else --- even if the sources of the individual elements are readily apparent.

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Filed Under: , Category: Image, Reviews

If You Love ‘Hamilton’, Try These Comics Next

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Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop broadway musical Hamilton is one of the biggest crossover success stories in recent memory, and everyone’s going crazy for its stunning music, compelling narrative, and diverse cast. The musical is about the rise of founding father Alexander Hamilton, from impoverished immigrant, to George Washington’s right hand man, to his downfall following America’s first major sex scandal.

If you’ve spun that record a million times already --- or, I guess, streamed it on Spotify a bunch --- and you’re still not satisfied, we’ve got five of the best independent comics that can meet your cravings for more great entertainment in the Hamilton mold.

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Ron Wimberly on Vertigo’s ‘Prince of Cats’, Culture, And Working Solo [Interview]

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What do Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, Ronald Reagan's '80s, city life, and black culture have in common? As it turns out, kind of a lot, and Ronald Wimberly's graphic novel Prince of Cats is a particularly beautiful illustration of that fact. Wi...

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