Monday, August 5, 2013

Fairy Tale Comics: Classic Tales Told by Extraordinary Cartoonists, edited by Chris Duffy

Fairy Tale Comics:

Classic Tales Told by Extraordinary Cartoonists 

Various Authors 
Editor: Chris Duffy 
Publisher: First Second Books 
Pub Date: September 24, 2013 
Fairy Tale Comics is an anthology of fairy tale interpretations by various artists so it's only natural that you might like some of them more than others, depending on your taste. I know I did.   

Some of the stories in the book are definitely not worth the price of admission, as they say (or in this case, the price of the book). "Hansel and Gretel", for instance, is crudely drawn--and not in an endearing way--and needlessly adds that the children are sent away by their stepmother. Was it their stepmother in the original? I'm pretty sure it was their parents. Why must we continue to perpetuate negative stereotypes about stepmoms? It's ridiculous. 

Others are fantastic and charming. "Little Red Riding Hood" is beautifully drawn in a simplistic but extremely expressive style that I can't get enough of. Plus the lumberjack is a woman and I think she's my new favourite superhero. I wish I had a picture to show you. So good!

One thing that most of the stories have in common is that they stay fairly true to the original fairy tales. Except for a few minor tweaks (the aforementioned female lumberjack, for one) most of them are straight re-tellings of the classic tales, not re-interpretations. These are not Fractured Fairy Tales, Modern Fairy Tales, Feminist Fairy Tales, Twisted Fairy Tales, New Fangled Fairy Tales, or Fairly Stupid Tales. They're Fairy Tale Comics (just like they promised in the title!). That's about it. 

Sure, there are a few tweaks here and there. One family of princes drives pickup trucks while wearing Renaissance clothing (I didn't get it) and there is a version of "Beauty and the Beast" that uses cats and dogs (it's cute, but the themes of kidnapping and abuse are still the same). So if you love the classic fairy tales as they are and you love comics, you'll love this book. Personally, I loved some of the stories in the collection but certainly not all. Again, it's a matter of personal taste.

Disclaimer: I received a digital galley of this book free from the publisher from NetGalley. I was not obliged to write a favourable review, or even any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.

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