Staff Picks (March): Verona

Let’s be honest. It’s not exactly easy to relate to a story like Romeo and Juliet. Sure, boy meets girl, and boy and girl fall in love, but boy and girl’s families hate each other so much they’re killing each other, and then boy and girl get married, make bad decisions, girl cries a bunch and then they subsequently die for each other after a series of unlikely events.

It’s not exactly the stuff that modern romance is made of, is it?

Enter Dell, Everett, and Helms’ Verona, a graphic novel that takes the base plot of Romeo and Juliet, applies it to the shoot-em-up kill or be killed world of gun runners and drug dealers and injects our heroes with agency, along with some refreshing diversity. While Shakespeare never tells us why the Capulets and Montagues hate each other, Verona really gives them something to fight about, and in the process, gives the denizens of Verona something to truly fear. City officials, the authorities and civilians alike are continuously caught in the crossfire.

Verona is a fast-paced read, driven by gunfights, romance, explosions and intrigue that go beyond Shakespeare’s “Two houses, both alike in dignity.” The added backstory gives the characters a depth that allows for a story with a much wider scope, as well as a no-frills way of telling a notoriously frilly tale.

Cleverly, the book sneaks in some great Easter eggs for the well-versed Shakespeare nerd. Eagle-eyed readers will recognize tips of the hat to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, and Macbeth.

Leigh Tyberg

Publisher: Emet Books
Item Code: MAR181623
Release Date: 5/2/18
SRP: $24.99

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Staff Picks (May): Metaphase #1

Recommended by Megan Cosman
Ollie wants to be just like his father, the famed Sentinel! Unluckily for Ollie, he was born with a congenital heart defect. But that's just a detail.