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Are you a fan of the Dramatis?

A few different style of Dramatis Personae from a selection of Classical Comics graphic novels.

Each of our Classical Comics graphic novels includes a Dramatis Personae; a page or two showing the cast of characters within the book. Often with a name and short description of the character these are far from being simply a mechanical list of cast members. Our Dramatis Personae is a full-colour visual aid that helps the reader in many ways, not least as a reminder of who is who, especially where some characters may look or dress similarly.

Did you know that many of our graphic novels are illustrated by different artists? Choosing an artist whose style suits the text makes each book and its characters unique in artistic style. So when creating the key characters for our books each of our artists were mindful of making them look as much like the author intended as possible. The author’s description and intention for a character is behind every likeness, costume and feature used. Many hours of sketches go into the first drafts until those key characters are agreed upon. Similarly the same dedication goes into the recreation of our faithful period settings.

This artistic style can also be useful in reminding the reader what sort of person an individual character is. The big personality of Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest, for example, has exaggerated features to match her larger than life personality whereas Jane Eyre is very much a softer character with no hard ink lines.



With a large cast of characters it helps to arrange the Dramatis Personae into families, ranks or character groups which makes it easier for the reader to quickly ascertain where the character sits in their family or social group. We separate the fighting Montague and Capulet families onto separate pages in Romeo & Juliet, for example.



Educationally, class groups may jump straight into the middle of a book to study just part of the text so having an immediate visual reference of characters in that situation can be invaluable.

Personally, I like to dive straight in with reading a new book and once a new character arrives I flick to the Dramatis Personae for a formal introduction of that character. Others may like to study the Dramatis Personae first in order to familiarise themselves with the entire cast before beginning to read. Others may just just use it as a reminder of characters as and when needed.

Either way, you can easily see and gain a lot of insight into the background, culture, and walks of life of your books' characters from a Dramatis Personae.

Much like watching a cast at the end of a play take a bow, a Dramatis Personae acknowledges each individual character in the book. Graphic novels, being the most similar book format to theatrical plays, lend themselves to the full-colour Dramatis Personae much more than a cold Shakespeare playscript, for example.

In conclusion, Dramatis Personaes can play a crucial role in the initial storytelling, they are an invaluable tool in reminding us who characters are and frankly, I think all books should have them.