P. Calavara's HAMLET
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mission statement

As the ultimate piece of words in the English, Hamlet sits astride all other literature like some Danish Godzilla. Our Hamlet project is the cuckoo hatched out as Hardy Boy, Goodfella, and Looney Toon, there to inform and comment, birth and usurp. If we can make you think about these or any works in a different way, then we've done our job. Jokes are a secondary service.


My Hamlet may have begun as an act of desperation. I know it was a Sunday in late May 2008 and I knew I needed at least a six-page comic to fill out some pages in a magazine I was supposed to have begun creating the month before. I also finally had the Kenneth Branagh HAMLET in my greedy little hands (thanks, Netflix). By the time the movie was over I had my character sheet penciled and had the basic concept in mind. The entire project hit seven pages of story and was completed and inked by Friday. Piece of cake.

I knew quickly that I wanted to do more with these characters, and I even had a pretty good sense of what that something would be. Drawing the actual Hamlet story was always meant to be the jump-off point for dragging Elsinore kicking and screaming into other places. My thinking was that you couldn't swing a cat without hitting an allusion to Hamlet, so why not literalize that.

Initially it had been my intention to find other artists to draw my scripts (this is almost always my intention when I start projects) and the first follow-up, Star Wars, even briefly had another artist attached to it. There were character sketches and everything! But time passed and the project was shelved for a long time, just another stack of papers in my office.

In my ever-failing attempt to find ways to make money, I hit on the idea of turning my original Hamlet into a colored posted to sell at a comics fest I was attending. I did. It sold. I decided to breathe some new life into the project, beginning, of course, with that Star Wars script I still had. Well, I pencilled out the entire 12 page comic and posted the character sheet pencils to my blog, the surest way to stall a project. But my spaceships and the droids were really roughly done, just whipped out from memory with the intention of being fleshed out the next time I watched the movie. That was probably six months ago. Since then I produced Hamlet Does Gogol's The Nose and Bat-Hamlet. Hamlet does Star Wars will get done eventually, as I hope, will several other adaptations. But being as Hamlet is not really my main focus, it may take awhile. So, y'know, stay frosty.

    Hamlet Who?

Occasionally or maybe even sometimes we produce comics that are in a similar vein to Hamlet, but don't include Hamlet. These are comics that are about other fictional or historical people and don't really have a proper home amongst any of my regular projects but should maybe be stashed somewhere. Since they're of a kind with Hamlet, if not actually kin to the Dane, I elected to put them on this site. I will endeavor to include an explanation with each project I post. In the meanwhile, we have Adam Smith to get you started with Waiting For Superman in the wings.

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all bathos, pathos, images, words, ennui, stories, et al copyright 2011 P. Calavara