Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fairy Tale Comics

As has (I hope) become apparent- I love fairy tales.  And graphic novels.  Particularly :01 First Second's graphic novels (which currently make up about 90% of my graphic novel collection...cuz they're freakin' awesome).

I received a copy of Fairy Tale Comics (edited by Chris Duffy) awhile ago, and am psyched that I got the chance to review it!  I reviewed The Storyteller GN awhile back, and while this is's so. much. better.

Fairy Tale Comics is a collection of fairy tales, re-imagined (and re-imaged) by various cartoonists- Raina Telgemeier (Smile), Craig Thompson (Blankets), and Brett Helquist (A Series of Unfortunate Events) to name a few.

The tales span from Grimm's Fairy Tales to Russian and Japanese folktales to Bre'r Rabbit tales from the South.  The variety of illustrations is amazing, each with its own qualities.  Some are narrative, some are mainly dialogue, some are wordless. Speaking of dialogue, "Hansel & Gretel"- illustrated by Gilbert 'Beto' Hernandez- is least I thought it was.  It was...I don't quite know how to explain it.  The only way I can think of is, like, overdramatic overacting.  LOVED it!  Luke Pearson's "The Boy Who Drew Cats" also had me chuckling- in a more adorable "Bartleby the Scribner" kind of way.

I went in not knowing much about certain cartoonists.  When I got to "The Prince and the Tortoise" I thought "this is really similar to classic comics- like Prince Valiant or something."  Turns out Ramona Fradon illustrated Aquaman in Super Friends.  The same happened with the story "Sweet Porridge."  "Hmmm...this is kind of nostalgic cartooning...reminds me of Popeye."  Again, Bobby London illustrated the Popeye comic strip from the mid-80s to early 90s.  I'm actually both proud and ashamed of myself for placing (yet not placing) these cartoonists.  There's a great list of contributors in the back which is helpful for both recognizing artists, and noting future works of theirs to look into.

One of my favorites was Gigi D.G.'s interpretation of "Little Red Riding Hood."  The artwork was beautiful and adorable.  Like, in the event of future Little Sare-endipities...I'd love to do a nursery in this style.  There was also some girl power in this version, which I am always happy about!  I won't give the twist away, though!  The same with Raina Telgemeier's "Rapunzel" [cue Spice Girls!]

The range of stories, the range of artistic styles and talent, the range of humor...this has something for everyone.  If you love fairytales and folktales, bright colors, humor, and pure awesomeness- get this graphic novel.  I have a feeling this will become as treasured as my Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales (and has much better illustrations!)

Fairy Tale Comics is published by :01 First Second.  Review Copy graciously provided by the publisher.
Release Date: 09.24.2013

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