The importance of being Earnest

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The Victorian age of good manners and high society, which was so DEBUS wonderfully portrayed by Oscar Wilde, comes back to life in a laby- rinth of misunderstandings…
Transcript
The Victorian age of good manners and high society, which was so DEBUS wonderfully portrayed by Oscar Wilde, comes back to life in a laby- rinth of misunderstandings and delightful contradictions. Love, lies, absurd circumstances and ridiculous hats will let the From the genius of Oscar Wilde reader know that there is actually nothing more becoming and essen- tial in the world than the importance of being earnest. The most renowned and brilliant comedy by Oscar Wilde is tran- sformed here into a comic by adopting the traditional structure of telling a joke in four tempos, as classically performed in the greatest THE importance of being earnest American comic strips. Each set of four panels, strip after strip, the reader will be taken along as the plot unfolds – never betraying, however, the customary joke demanded at the end of each strip. In this way, the rhythm of events recounted in the famous comedy will be marked by a crescen- do of laughter and plot twists which cannot disappoint. Luca Debus was born in Feltre, Italy in 1994. Lover of comic strips and fervent Charles M. Schulz enthusiast, he lives on the edge between the world of comics and the world of literature. In fact, he graduated at the International School of Comics in Padua and obtained his BA in languages and literature at Ca’ Foscari in Venice. Fai la scansione del qrcode e scopri su Amazon i libri di Festina Lente Edizioni Find the books of Festina Lente Edizioni € 15,00 on Amazon FESTINA LENTE E D I Z I O N I © 2019 Festina Lente Edizioni di Marco Mari Via Ferrariola, 34 - 44124 Ferrara - Italy www.festinalenteedizioni.it info@festinalenteedizioni.it Copertina: Agnese Mari Tutti i diritti sono riservati a norma di legge. Nessuna parte di questo libro può essere riprodotta con sistemi elettronici, meccanici o altri, senza l’autorizzazione scritta dell’editore. Questo libro contiene materiale protetto da copyright e non può essere copiato, riprodotto, trasferito, distribuito, noleggiato, licenziato, trasmesso in pubblico o utilizzato in alcun altro modo ad eccezione di quanto è stato specificamente autorizzato dall’editore, ai termini e alle condizioni alle quali è stato acquistato o da quanto esplicitamente previsto dalla legge applica- bile. Qualsiasi distribuzione o fruizione non autorizzata dei testi e delle immagini contenute in questo libro costituisce una violazione dei diritti dell’editore e dell’autore e sarà sanzionata civilmente e penalmente secondo quanto previsto dalla Legge 633/1941 e successive modi- fiche. A special thanks to my dearest friend Logan, who made sure that this English adaptation makes sense, and helped me through the whole process. L. D. PREFACE PREFACE What a treat you hold in your real or digital hands! There have been adaptations of Oscar Wilde in comics form before — several versions of The Picture of Dorian Gray, an excellent series of his fables by P. Craig Russell — but the plays, Wilde’s most commercially successful works, have only rarely been attempted. Luca Debus has done much more than simply put Wilde’s lan- guage into word balloons and draw the characters around them. He has transformed it for the medium, and in a particularly ingenious fashion. He has fit the play into a format as punishingly strict as the tightest Victorian corset — the four-panel comic strip. This is the format of the classic strips run in newspapers, from Beetle Bailey to B.C. to the most revered of all, Charles Schulz’s Peanuts, a comic now recognized as a profound meditation on the human condition. With punchlines. Let’s be clear: When people talk about graphic novels, this is not what they’re talking about. Nobody creates graphic novels in the four-panel format — it’s just too hard. Every set of panels needs a certain rhythm and its own payoff. It’s like trying to make an opera out of three-minute pop songs, or a movie out of commercials. What’s more, almost nobody adapts plays for comics. In plays, people stand around talking. In a visual medium like comics, this gets dull fast. The Importance of Being Earnest has been called a perfect play, but it’s a play where all the fun is in the words — there’s nary a pratfall or sight gag anywhere. 6 The ImporTance of BeIng earnesT A long-form comic strip version of a play is a MAD idea. It shouldn’t work. Not at all! So why does it? First, because Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest is so continuously funny that there are punchlines all the way through. No play ever written lends itself to the comic strip format, but Earnest at least has the relentless wit to make it possible. Second, and most importantly, this book works because Debus is a master of the medium. He knows how to fit the play into the regimented flow without breaking it, how to move the characters around those little boxes, how to boost a laugh line with a reaction (including the classic “flying feet of a character who has just fallen off-panel in shock” — look for it!). Besides a hip, flip new way of reading Wilde, Debus gives us nods to classic comics. The very first scene starts with a wink at Peanuts’ Schroeder, and then Ernest enters looking like a grown-up Richie Rich. While Debus’s style borrows from the manga tradition of Japan, you can see a bit of Bill Watterson’s Calvin & Hobbes peeking through here and there, and maybe even a touch of Garry Truedeau’s Doonesbury. Clever, inventive, funny — this book reinvents Wilde’s greatest play for a wildly different medium. So turn the page, sip your tea and enjoy a cucumber sandwich... what do you mean there aren’t any, Lane? Darcy Sullivan* * Darcy Sullivan is press officer of The Oscar Wilde Society, and has written about comics for more than 30 years, for The Comics Journal and other publications. Characters 10 The ImporTance of BeIng earnesT characTers 11 The ImporTance of BeIng earnesT 13 fIrsT acT 15 16 The ImporTance of BeIng earnesT fIrsT acT 17 18 The ImporTance of BeIng earnesT fIrsT acT 19 20 The ImporTance of BeIng earnesT fIrsT acT 21 22 The ImporTance of BeIng earnesT fIrsT acT 23 24 The ImporTance of BeIng earnesT fIrsT acT 25 26 The ImporTance of BeIng earnesT fIrsT acT 27 28 The ImporTance of BeIng earnesT fIrsT acT 29 30 The ImporTance of BeIng earnesT INDEX Preface pag. 5 The ImporTance of BeIng earnesT Characters » 9 First Act » 13 Second Act » 59 Third Act » 105 The Victorian age of good manners and high society, which was so DEBUS wonderfully portrayed by Oscar Wilde, comes back to life in a laby- rinth of misunderstandings and delightful contradictions. Love, lies, absurd circumstances and ridiculous hats will let the From the genius of Oscar Wilde reader know that there is actually nothing more becoming and essen- tial in the world than the importance of being earnest. The most renowned and brilliant comedy by Oscar Wilde is tran- sformed here into a comic by adopting the traditional structure of telling a joke in four tempos, as classically performed in the greatest THE importance of being earnest American comic strips. Each set of four panels, strip after strip, the reader will be taken along as the plot unfolds – never betraying, however, the customary joke demanded at the end of each strip. In this way, the rhythm of events recounted in the famous comedy will be marked by a crescen- do of laughter and plot twists which cannot disappoint. Luca Debus was born in Feltre, Italy in 1994. Lover of comic strips and fervent Charles M. Schulz enthusiast, he lives on the edge between the world of comics and the world of literature. In fact, he graduated at the International School of Comics in Padua and obtained his BA in languages and literature at Ca’ Foscari in Venice. Fai la scansione del qrcode e scopri su Amazon i libri di Festina Lente Edizioni Find the books of Festina Lente Edizioni € 15,00 on Amazon
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