Legendary Comics’ ‘Tragic’ Views Othello Through Queer Lens In Spring 2022

by Brendan M. Allen

Legendary Comics has announced a new original graphic novel, Tragic, retelling Shakespeare’s Hamlet through a queer lens. Written by Dana Mele, featuring artwork from artist Valentina Pinti and colors by Chiara Di Francia, 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. The graphic novel is set for release in Spring 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 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,” she continued, “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.”

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