One of my questions has been answered:
The kids were seeing the Julius Caesar Shakesapeare-in-manga book lying around on my pile, with the bleeding hero on the cover, and the conspirators with their various reactions standing over him. They were curious. Finally, one night at bedtime, the six-year old said "Please, please can we read Julius Caesar tonight?" I said "Oh honey, it's dark to read this, and it's hard to understand, and it might not be good bed-time reading." The face went under the covers, to hide the disappointment. So...we started reading Julius Caesar in manga. I don't know this play, I have to study a bit now, to help understand the story, but how cool is that as a project?
QED Manga worked, by itself, to draw kids into the story. I'll update on our progress as we go.
PS We laughed hard at Monty Python's Julius Caesar on Aldus Lamps, too.