Robert Burns: Witch Hunter takes an exciting new look at The Bard
Yesterday, in the poet’s former home in Alloway, Scotland, a brand new graphic novel was released that asks ‘what if the events of the iconic Robert Burns poem Tam o’Shanter were actually based on something that happened to Burns himself?’
Robert Burns: Witch Hunter, a hardcover graphic novel from Edinburgh writers Gordon Rennie and Emma Beeby, featuring artwork by Tiernen Trevallion, sees Rabbie mistakenly taking a wrong turn and ending up stumbling into the middle of a witches’ sabbath in the ruins of the haunted ol’ Alloway Kirk. However, before he can become too entranced by the dancing of the witches, he is saved by the dramatic arrival of two witch-hunters, McKay and his apprentice Meg, who go on to take Burns under their wing and teach him the ancient art of witch-hunting.
The graphic novel has been released by Canadian publisher Renegade Arts Entertainment, and features nods to several of the Bard’s other celebrated works,
Tam O’Shanter was voted the nation’s favourite Burns poem five years ago in a poll conducted to coincide with the 250th anniversary of the poet’s birth, and is said to have been inspired by the folklore tales of witchcraft Burns learned as a child.
At the launch, Beeby spoke about the project, saying “It really started as a bit of a joke at first, but it also felt like a great idea to turn Robert Burns into a witch hunter. Tam O’Shanter lends itself perfectly to being adapted into a graphic novel as it’s such a great story. It’s amazing to get things to this stage and to be launching the book in Alloway, as it’s a hugely atmospheric place. We’d certainly love to get the chance to do a sequel.”
Artist Trevallion added “Robbie’s journey felt to me like a rite of passage. He’s led around the place by his libido and his poetry, like a force of nature. The fact that he becomes embroiled with demons and witch-hunters almost doesn’t touch the sides, but helps to reinforce his skills as a poet, and refine his romantic nature.”
The book goes on sale officially on November 26th, and can be purchased from the Renegade Arts Entertainment webstore, as well as in all good comic shops and bookstores.
The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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