Ken Wong's Comics

Cyrano de Bergerac

Over the years, I have collected and read or seen dozens of different versions, translations, adaptations or other variations of French playwright Edmond Rostand's famous heroic comedy "Cyrano de Bergerac."  It is my favorite play and it has inspired several different comics projects.
 
 

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Preliminary artwork for cover of "Cyrano de Bergerac's Ballade"

"Cyrano de Bergerac's Ballade," which debuted at the 2011 MoCCA Festival in April, is my artisanal comic adaptation of Cyrano's famous "duel in rhyme" from Act 1, Scene 4 of Rostand's play. 
 
Instead of doing a strict literal translation from Rostand's original French, however, I decided to draw upon my knowledge and experience as a former collegiate foil fencer to emphasize the fencing aspects and language of the scene.
 
Cyrano's Ballade is also the first of what I 'm unofficially calling my new 'Hybri-gami' phase: a transition between my folded Origami Comics and more traditional book/zine-format comics.  Cyrano's Ballade takes the form of a pamphlet (saddle stapled) minicomic in which the final page longer than the others so that the touch in Cyrano's final refrain is read as part of preceding stanzas/pages.

 
C. Rhino de Bergerac is a funny little French rhinoceros character who just popped into my head one night.  I've already started doing sketches of him as well as a few of his swashbuckling animal friends: the four musketeers Girafthos, Porkhos, Bearamis, and b'Arkaganan; their masked pal The Scarlet Pachyderm; wildcat Julie t'Aubigny better known as Madamoiselle Miaopin; and others.  I'm not really sure where all this will lead but I'm sure having fun with these cute little characters for now.

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Papercutz Classics Illustrated
In 2010, I did a writing assignment for Papercutz..

Cyrano de Bergerac is probably my all-time favorite play in the world so I was thrilled when Papercutz Editor-in-Chief Jim Salicrup asked me to contribute an essay to their Classics Illustrated edition of Cyrano as adapted by Peter David & Kyle Baker.  My essay addresses the use of the word "panache" by Edmond Rostand, the original playwright, as well as in subsequent translations or adaptations such as this graphic novel.
 
Classics Illustrated #10: Cyrano de Bergerac is in stores now and available from book e-tailers like Amazon.  Ask for it at your local comic shop or bookstore. 
 
Or just buy one from me (while supplies last) at any of my appearances.  Although my contribution to this Papercutz edition is obviously minimal compared to the fine work done by Peter David & Kyle Baker, I would be happy to sign any copies that you are willing to let me deface.