Thursday, January 02, 2014

FAIRY TALE COMICS by Chris Duffy (ed)

FAIRY TALE COMICS is a recent anthology of 17 comic book adaptations of traditional fairy tales, about half from the Brothers Grimm and the balance from a variety of other sources, edited by Chris Duffy as a follow-up to his earlier NURSERY RHYME COMICS (2011). I thought there was some cute stuff in the prior book, but nothing too memorable, as the short length of the stories (mostly 2-3 pages) and the inherent nonsense of most of the source material didn't really work for me, although I'd have no trouble recommending it to someone a few decades closer to the target age group. FAIRY TALE COMICS was much more satisfying to me. Most of the stories are pretty familiar, of course, but a few of them were new to me, and pretty enjoyable.

I think the highlight was David Mazzucchelli's "Give Me the Shudders", one of the more obscure of the Brothers Grimm sourced stories (or at least the only one I hadn't heard before). Really makes you wish Mazzucchelli did more than one book every decade. He packs a lot into the story, with some nice subtle facial expressions and a lot of funny slightly creepy imagery.

Also high on the list, Raina Telgemeier does some nice stuff with the familiar "Rapunzel" story, Ramona Fradon provides some of the funniest scenes in the book in "The Prince And The Tortoise" and Luke Pearson's "The Boy Who Drew Cats" is a great little off-beat adaptation of the Japanese story which will definitely get me to check out his HILDA books.  Same for Joseph Lambert's Br'er Rabbit story "Rabbit Will Not Help", which has me looking forward to reading some more work by him soon.

Really solid book, with more than a fair share of excellent stories, and just about everything else at least interesting and with a distinctive style.

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