Robert Burns poem Tam O’Shanter has been brought to life in a “vibrant” new Manga graphic novel by Cranachan Publishing.
Out on 31st October, the text has been adapted by author Richmond Clements with art by UK-based Manga artist Inko.
Clements, who works at the Moniack Mhor writing centre in Beauly, said: “I first read Tam O'Shanter a few years ago and was amazed at just how fast-paced, visual and kinetic it was. I was amazed that nobody had thought of turning it into a comic before - it seemed such an obvious thing to do.”
Inko, who studied in both Japan and the UK, said: “I was always fond of illustrating folklores and strange stories since I was a child, so it was very thrilling to get involved in the Tam O' Shanter project with my speciality. I wanted readers to feel the rhythm of the poem getting wilder at the crucial point of Tam's fate. It's spooky, hilarious, and it was a joy visualising it.”
Cranachan is also launching a second title on Halloween night, Black Water by Barbara Henderson. In this novella aimed at ages 8-12 years, Burns’ brief time as a Customs and Excise man sees him aiding a young boy to thwart smuggling around the Dumfries area.
Henderson said: “Black Water had been splashing around in my mind since 2015, so it's incredibly exciting to see it in print and with such a striking cover. It's the sort of story I would have loved as a child! It's a wee book, so not too daunting even for reluctant readers. The fact that it's rooted in real events and features the iconic poet Robert Burns will hopefully add to its appeal. I couldn't believe how exciting the real events were - it just needed a child's perspective to work as a story for kids.”
Both authors will be appearing at a launch event at Waterstones Inverness on 31st October from 6pm to 7pm with readings from the works, costume competitions and Halloween fun.