The 13-year-old lion was not only a tourist favorite, but also, a research animal. The beloved lion was being studied by the Oxford University Conservation Unit.
If you’ve read Ray Bradbury’s 1962 classic “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” you know it’s a time capsule of a certain kind of Americana: small-town middle America in the mid-1900s, back when traveling carnivals still came to town.
The carnival in Bradbury’s book is a sinister one with soul-stealing carousels and diabolical characters like Mr. Dark – who bears a tattoo for each person who, lured by the offer to live out his secret fantasies, becomes bound in service to the carnival.
The novel’s title comes from a line in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth:” “By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.” And the story line deals with two young teenagers, Jim Nightshade and Will Halloway, wrestling with good and evil–an old-fashioned tale set in the wholesome Midwest.
But when a New York publishing house decided to re-do Bradbury’s book as a graphic novel, they chose what may seem like an unlikely man for the job: Ron Wimberly, an African American, 30-something comic book illustrator from trendy Brooklyn.
Wimberly has worked with DC/Vertigo Comics on titles such as “Swamp Thing.” He’s also the illustrator of an autobiography of the hip-hop artist and rapper Percy Carey called “Sentences: The Life of M.F. Grimm.”