Fairy Tale Comics: Classic Tales Told by Extraordinary Cartoonists

Edited by Chris Duffy, illus. by various artists. First Second, $19.99 (128p) ISBN 978-1-59643-823-1
Duffy has assembled a dazzling lineup of comics versions of more than a dozen fairy tales in this hilarious follow-up to Nursery Rhyme Comics. Favorites like "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" and "Rapunzel" (whose heroines gain welcome agency) join rarities like "The Small Tooth Dog" and "The Boy Who Drew Cats." The stories' visual styles range from Gilbert Hernandez's straightforward, flat-color cartoons for "Hansel and Gretel" to Brett Helquist's elaborately rendered Rumpelstiltskin; the bewildered stares of the bear family say it all in Graham Annable's wordless "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." Karl Kerschl conceives "The Bremen Town Musicians" as a down-home romp ("Me and Abel talked it over and we ain't goin' near no haunted house"); Ramona Fredon crafts a formal, Classics Illustrated-style version of "The Prince and the Tortoise"; while Vanessa Davis capitalizes on the absurdities of "Puss in Boots" ("Bunny!" the king shouts inanely, hearts dancing around him, when Puss presents him with his first gift). Most stories are in the six- to eight-page range, and children will probably beg their parents to read the whole thing in one sitting. Ages 6 – 12. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/01/2013
Release date: 09/24/2013
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