Book projects I developed
Barnes & Noble Shakespeare
I was involved in this project from the very beginning, helping set the table of contents, compiling massive style guides, offering feedback on design—I even selected the endpapers. (Hollar's “Long View of London,” in case you're interested.) I was most involved, however, in commissioning and editing the “unsigned” work in each volume: i.e., material not provided by the series editor, David Scott Kastan, or the individual volume editors. This includes the majority of the footnotes and glosses, as well as essays on the plays' afterlives. (I wrote “Inspired by Romeo and Juliet” and “Inspired by Hamlet” myself.) They're beautiful, crisply-designed books, and particularly good for classroom use and general readers. Buy the books here.
No Fear Shakespeare Graphic Novels
WINNER: 1st Place, Adult Graphic Novel Series, New York Book Show 2009
I took over as editor of this series sometime in the middle of the first book's development, and saw the books through their publication in spring 2008. The three books in the series--Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth—are based on SparkNotes' popular No Fear Shakespeare series, and each was drawn by a different, incredibly talented artist. Originally, these graphic novels were going to use the No Fear translations for their dialogue, but we realized that, taken out of context, those translations—never intended to be read on their own—seemed strange and stilted. So in addition to selecting and overseeing the artists, I also re-translated all the texts (with help from the artists) so that they read more smoothly and elegantly.
With regards to our Hamlet edition, Booklist said: "[T]his entry in the No Fear Shakespeare Graphic Novels line makes the Bard even more accessible. The language has been further simplified, but not dumbed down, and the story stays true to the arc of the play, with the monologues and interiors nearly intact. Babra's artwork, though far from flashy, is no mere window dressing, its clear, black-and-white scenes often shifting into a stark, expressionistic mode that heightens the drama. Along with a nicely digestible version of the play, this will give readers a feel for Shakespeare's language and wordplay (many of the famous lines and naughty double entendres have been preserved). With all that going for it, this admirable effort is likely to succeed in the classroom, as well as appeal to those already drawn to Shakespeare."
Here's Matt Wiegle talking about Romeo, Neil Babra’s fascinating essay about working on Hamlet, and Ken Hoshine's homepage. Buy the books here.
Spark Your Career
The series fills what I felt was a major gap in the market: Namely, practical guidance for finding work in the creative industries. The five books in this series—film, fashion, advertising, publishing, and magazines—offer a soup-to-nuts approach for college students and twentysomethings. They not only give you succinct introductions to the industries, but they also have helpful features like sample resumes, cover letters, and interview questions. I created the series template and edited two of the books: Spark Your Career in Film, by Nicola Behrman, and Spark Your Career in Fashion, by Angie Wojak and Marianne Hudz. Might I suggest these as graduation gifts for the clueless liberal arts major in your life? Buy the books here.