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Tragic – A Queer Twist To Hamlet



Shakespeare Gets Queer Twist in a Modern Retelling of Hamlet as Publisher Zeroes in on Inclusive Storytelling For the YA Audience

LOS ANGELES, September 7, 2022 – Legendary Comics today released a thrilling new trailer for its upcoming original graphic novel, as well as a special sneak peak of the first 5 pages of TRAGIC, a retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet exploring family, mystery and death, from Pushcart-nominated writer Dana Mele (People Like Us; Summer’s Edge). Featuring artwork from artist Valentina Pinti (SMASH! Thunderbolt the Avenger; Noise Press’ The Steams; NoLand Comics’ Rust) and colorist Chiara Di Francia (Jungle’s Le Renard de Morlange; Les Humanoides’ Associes Hard Rescue), Tragic takes on redefined and curious characters layered into a queer narrative that weaves together both lovely and unsettling perspectives inspired by the infamously classic tragedy. Volume 1 of the graphic novel is set for release on September 13, 2022.

Tragic is told through the eyes of 17-year-old Harper Hayes. After her father Hamilton dies a mysterious and tragic death, Harper is convinced that he was murdered, and her first suspect is her uncle, who has been sleeping with her mother. With the help of her ex-girlfriend Talia and her best friend (sometimes with benefits) Holden, Harper is determined to find her father’s killer. But when Caius, Talia’s father and Hamilton’s business partner, is also found dead, Harper realizes the answer to Hamilton’s murder is more complicated than she had initially realized. As Harper begins to see her father’s ghost in the form of a teenage Hamlet everywhere and starts slipping into hallucinations of his murder that end with blood on her hands, one thing becomes clear—in order to uncover the truth about what happened to her father, Harper has to confront her own demons and ones that haunt the Hayes family. 

“Tragic is a YA thriller family drama mashup with an intensely visual presentation, said author, Dana Mele. I was inspired by a story very close to my heart, Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Years ago, I played Hamlet in college and what I love about retellings is the familiar heartbeat of a beloved story in sometimes a strange or quirky, unexpected form. I’ve always seen Hamlet as a queer character, as someone with a deeply intimate relationship with Horatio. And if Hamlet were written today, I think it would be a psychological thriller, so that’s the story that came about organically. Tragic, in essence, is about anxieties surrounding identity, obligation, and mortality.”

Dana Mele’s Tragic is the latest project announced by Legendary Comics that joins a growing slate of upcoming visionary and inclusive YA stories. Other titles include Championess (based on the real-life bare-knuckle boxer Elizabeth Wilkinson in eighteenth-century London from Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas); The Heart Hunter (exploring immortality, love, and greed from novelist Mickey Georgeand artist V. Gagnon); Lupina (a six-part captivating saga about a young girl on a journey of revenge with her wolf companion from Eisner Award-nominated writer James F. Wright and artist Li Buszka); and The Witches of Silverlake (following Elliot Green and his coven of queer, teen witches in Los Angeles from singer-songwriter Simon Curtis).

About the Creators

Dana Mele is a Pushcart-nominated writer based in the Catskills. A theatre major, Dana played the role of Hamlet in a college production, cementing a lifelong love of all things Shakespeare and a fascination with the character. Dana’s YA debut, People Like Us, was shortlisted for the ITW Thriller Award for Best Young Adult Novel and was an ALA Rainbow Book List Selection. A second YA thriller, Summer’s Edge, is forthcoming from Simon & Schuster in Spring 2022. 

Valentina Pinti is an Italian comic book artist and illustrator who studied in Italy at N.I.D. (New Institute of Design) and the Academy of Fine Art in Perugia. She started publishing in 2013 and since then she has worked with a big number of Italian publishers. She has also collaborated with publishers such as Petit-à-Petit in France, South East Comics in Holland, Space Between Entertainment, BOOM! Studios and Scout Comics in the U.S., and Rebellion Comics in England. At the moment, apart from collaborating with Legendary Comics, she is hard at work with France’s Editions Soleil. 

Chiara Di Francia has been working as an illustrator and comic book artist since 2010. Since her start with Italian magazine, Splatter, she has frequently worked with French publishers. She has been collaborating with Italy’s Arancia Studio since 2018, both as artist and colorist. As a colorist, she has been featured on Guide de Paris en bandes dessinées, Caen – Tome 1 and Tome 2 (Petit à Petit), Le Renard de Morlange (Jungle), Examen – Dio Perdona (Star Comics), Mes Souvenirs en BD – 1980/1984 (Dupuis) as well as many others. 

About Legendary Comics YA

The Legendary Comics YA imprint is dedicated to telling original and character-driven stories across a wide array of genres. With a commitment to amplifying new voices, spotlighting diverse perspectives, and seeking out passionate talent telling authentic stories, the imprint gives emerging and veteran artists a platform to share stories never told before and retell classics from a new point of view, in hopes to transport readers to other worlds that span a range of genres, from fantasy to historical fiction, and beyond. Titles included in the slate are: Championess (inspired by bare-knuckle boxer Elizabeth Wilkinson in eighteenth-century London from Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas); The Heart Hunter (a debut OGN from Mickey George, set on a cursed island where everyone is doomed to wear their heart on their sleeve and explore immortality, love and greed); Lupina (an orphaned girl raised by a wolf, goes on a quest for answers and revenge); The Witches of Silverlake (following Elliot Green and his coven of queer, teen witches in Los Angeles from singer-songwriter Simon Curtis) and Tragic (a retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet from a queer lens and told through the eyes of a 17-year-old girl). 

About Legendary Comics

Legendary Comics was born out of a passion for mythic entertainment, seeking out new talent and working with the best and the brightest in the industry to create transportive worlds, inspirational characters, and spectacular adventures that leap off the page. Founded in 2011, Legendary Comics has produced an exciting catalogue of original titles that continues to grow and evolve. From partnerships with industry legend Frank Miller to Grant Morrison’s Eisner-nominatedAnnihilator, Legendary Comics has a passion for innovative new stories, including the fantasy graphic novel Heart Hunter, the historical fiction storyChampioness(based on the true story of Elizabeth Wilkinson), and Jessica Chobot and Erika Lewis’ hit web series, Firebrand: The Initiation of NataliPresano. In addition to original titles, Legendary Comics also expands the scope of the cinematic universes of its parent company Legendary Entertainment, by bringing big-screen adventure exploding onto the comic book page. Working with the visionary filmmakers and the architects of Legendary’sMonsterverse, they have delivered the level of quality and authenticity our fans demand withNew York Times best-sellers such as Godzilla: Aftershock, Pacific Rim: Aftermath, and Skull Island: The Birth of Kong, to name a few.

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September 7, 2022
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