October 6, 2013

Review: Fairy Tale Comics

Fairy Tale Comics Edited by Chris Duffy
Available now from First Second (Macmillan)
Review copy

I was a little disappointed in this comic anthology until I read the afterword.  FAIRY TALE COMICS achieves what it sets out to do: illustrate the big tales and only a few obscure ones.  FAIRY TALE COMICS is truly a collection for children, who aren't so familiar with the tales or expecting of subversion.

Editor Chris Duffy lined up a fantastic group of creators.  I fell in love with Luke Pearson's work after reading HILDA AND THE MIDNIGHT GIANT for the Cybils last year, and his "The Boy Who Drew Cats" (based on a Japanese tale) is a true standout.  It is super cute, and the little boy in it is such a little boy.  Raina Telgemeier's "Rapunzel" deviates the most from the popular tale, I believe, and the way she ends it is quite clever.

Because most of the stories in FAIRY TALE COMICS are straightforward retellings, the quality of the art is very important.  And the art is superb.  Brett Helquist's art will be familiar to fans of popular children's books like A Series of Unfortunate Events.  Other artists like Gilbert Hernandez and Craig Thompson are ones to grow on, creators young readers can seek out when they're older.  There's a wide range of colors palettes, mediums, and styles on display.  It keeps the anthology feeling fresh to the end.

I highly recommend FAIRY TALE COMICS for those seeking a fun book that will appeal to a young reader.  Adult fans of folklore might not be as enthused, although the art is quite enjoyable.


  1. I did enjoy this one for all the different artistic styles.

    1. Yeah. I didn't say a favorite because it's too hard to pick.

  2. I was seeing hugely positive reviews for this one, so it's good to see that you had a more measured take on it. I do love most things fairy-tale, so I'll probably be looking for it no matter what. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I am a huge fan of fairy tales, which was why I picked it up too!

  3. Wow, so many artists here whose work I love! I definitely want to check this out, even if overall it doesn't stray too much from well worn territory. I am especially looking forward to Raina's Rapunzel take. Lovely balanced review!


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