Geoff Klock is my kind of nerd: he’s very intelligent and he’s equally obsessive about comics, TeeVee, movies and literature. Rather, he appreciates comics, movies and TeeVee as literature.
As a college professor he’s been teaching Hamlet for some time — so he set out to find allusions to the melancholy Dane in popular culture. (I hepped him to half-a-dozen oddball examples from Bugs Bunny, Head of the Class, Student Bodies, Theater of Blood, Laverne & Shirley and more.) If you have any examples Geoff missed, I encourage you to contact him at his website.
Now watch his video below, it’s a labor of love:
You can also read this excellent interview, a conversation between Geoff and Jay Stern. Geoff was inspired by a Christmas Carol mash-up which re-tells the Dickens classic in 8 minutes, using dozens of clips from various productions. (Jay edited the video with Craig Wichman, they screened it at KEVIN GEEKS OUT: Holiday Grab Bag show.)
Meanwhile, Geoff is collecting still images that reference Hamlet, like this page from Classics Illustrated:
|“This may be denser than anything Alan Moore or Chris Claremeont tried to do.” — Geoff Klock|
To aid Geoff in his quest, I tried to google an image from the novelization of National Lampoon’s Animal House which contained a Hamlet bit that didn’t appear in the film.
Remarkably the image didn’t turn up on Google. Isn’t it weird that we find it weird when something isn’t on google? So I captured the shot (below) and share it with the internet here and now.
Early in Act II of the story, we get a glimpse of how each of the Deltas spend their free time.
D-Day, with a paperback Hamlet in a pocket of his flight suit, made it out to Echo Lake on his bike and recited sonorous soliloquies into the dusk, getting chills at some of the passages.
For the record, Chris Miller’s adaptation is probably my favorite novelization. (Ask most people what their favorite novelization is and I imagine you’ll get a lot of blank stares or joke answers.) It’s a beautiful companion piece to the film, filled with deleted scenes from the film, as well as odd photos and comic-strip sequences. The artwork throughout it stellar, and Miller’s writing offers beautiful attention to character details. I highly recommend his short stories from the National Lampoon magazine, or the ones collected in National Lampoon’s A Dirty Book. Miller was the film’s co-screenwriter (with Doug Kenney and Harold Ramis) — and his college memoir The Real Animal House. Miller also adapted the film for television (but that rarely gets mentioned in his credits.)
Back to Geoff, though — if you have any good examples of Hamlet-referencing images, please send them to Geoff.Klock@gmail.com