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Ronald Wimberly Skins the "Prince of Cats"

Ronald Wimberly Skins the "Prince of Cats" Image
  • Posted on 15th Sep, 2022 17:03 PM

Writer artist Ronald Wimberly spoke to CBR News about his new Vertigo OGN "Prince of Cats," a hip-hop retelling of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" focusing on Tybalt and the Capulets.

Ronald Wimberly has a confidence -- a tempo -- that simultaneously smacks of the '80s East Coast Hip Hop scene and the future that he created himself. His outlook, his art, even his style share a beat that's viscously magnetic and uncompromising. Comics needs Ron Wimberly to grow, and when his new Vertigo Comics graphic novel "Prince of Cats" drops this September, people will begin to ask more from him.

"Prince of Cats" is a hip-hop inspired retelling of William Shakespeare's seminal tale, "Romeo and Juliet." Instead of focusing on the star crossed lovers, Wimberly's story focuses on Tybalt, referred to in the play as the Prince of Cats, and his Capulet brothers as their war with the Montagues rages on. Writing and drawing a story that mixes samurai warfare, an urban sensibility and a healthy dose of the Bard is no easy feat, but the Wimberly is more than up to the task.


Wimberly spoke with CBR News about his upcoming graphic novel and the writer/artist candidly discussed the upcoming release, his animation experience, and his background in independent comics.

CBR News: Ronald, people should know who you are, so give us a little bit of background. How'd you get started in comics?

Ronald Wimberly: Well, I decided to try and make a living at comics when, in college, I first read Paul Pope's "THB." It was the first time I thought, "I want to do this -- I can do this."

After working in animation on "Black Dynamite," Wimberly wants to bring some of what he's learned to his comics work

Also, in animation, there's a script editor, producer, line producer, creative director, usually some sort of producer who acts as liaison to the studio; these roles are all the de facto responsibilities of the comic book editor. In comics, the editor has a great deal of responsibility.

One of the things I've learned from working on "Black Dynamite" is the value of order. [Laughs] That's what I look forward to adding to my process.

You say you prefer to work alone in comics most of the time,but theenthusiasmyou have when talking about the collaboration in animation -- if you were to have a collaborator on your next comic project, would you want a moreinteractiverelationship? What are some things you'd keep the same or do differently on your next project, knowing what you know?

I honestly can't say I ever think about collaboration in comics. I usually have everything I need to get off with comics in my disposal.

Yeah, I want to get together with some of my friends, get some cash, and have fun making something legendary!

Ronald Wimberly will appear at both the Brooklyn Book Festival at a panel called "NY Inked" in September and in Artist Alley at NYCC in October. "Prince of Cats" is slated for a September release through DC Comics' Vertigo imprint.

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