Exclusive Peek: See ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Re-Imagined in ’80s Brooklyn

If Romeo and Juliet were a mix-tape, what would the story on the B-side be? That’s the context for Ronald Wimberly’s forthcoming graphic novel Prince of Cats, which focuses on Juliet’s bad-boy cousin and Romeo’s ultimate foe, Tybalt. Set on the streets of ’80s Brooklyn (yet written in iambic pentameter, verily), the story begins with Tybalt’s return from private school and his almost immediate plunge into ongoing Capulet and Montague hostilities, Samarai style.

“Tybalt interested me because he embodied mindless youthful violence as a means to etch out identity,” Wimberly told us. Violent indeed — if you’re looking for some sad-sack tale about two angsty teenagers who kill themselves in the name of love, this version is not for you. But if you dig the brawls, or were always curious about Romeo’s first love Rosaline (who goes by Rosalyn here), then this may be the version of R&J you’ve been looking for. For an exclusive sneak peek, we invite you to click through some of our favorite panels from the book, which publishes September 11th. And now to Brooklyn Babel, Where we lay our scene…

Opening Scene