Fairy Tale Comics: Classic Tales Told by Extraordinary Cartoonists

Fairy Tale Comics: Classic Tales Told by Extraordinary Cartoonists

by Chris Duffy

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From favorites like "Puss in Boots" and "Goldilocks" to obscure gems like "The Boy Who Drew Cats," Fairy Tale Comics has something to offer every reader. Seventeen fairy tales are wonderfully adapted and illustrated in comics format by seventeen different cartoonists, including Raina Telgemeier, Brett Helquist, Cherise Harper,



From favorites like "Puss in Boots" and "Goldilocks" to obscure gems like "The Boy Who Drew Cats," Fairy Tale Comics has something to offer every reader. Seventeen fairy tales are wonderfully adapted and illustrated in comics format by seventeen different cartoonists, including Raina Telgemeier, Brett Helquist, Cherise Harper, and more.

Edited by Nursery Rhyme Comics' Chris Duffy, this jacketed hardcover is a beautiful gift and an instant classic.

A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Maria Tatar
…refashions classic tales with bold creativity, reminding us that, as Italo Calvino put it, a fairy tale is always "more beautiful" (and more interesting) when something is added…Fairy Tale Comics…[remakes] the old tales…infusing them with manic liveliness and antic art. By including less familiar stories like "The Boy Who Drew Cats," "Give Me the Shudders" and "The Small-Tooth Dog," the collection reminds us that such tales can be refashioned because they shape-shift with such ease, never losing their edgy entertainment value, even when we work hard to domesticate them for the younger crowd.
Publishers Weekly
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.)
From the Publisher

“Fairy tales and comics! This was meant to be. Like peanut butter and jelly, nuts and bolts, rhyme and reason. Editor/writer/artist Chris Duffy has assembled a wonderfully diverse group of fairy tales - from classic Grimm and Perrault to non-European gems - and challenged the coolest bunch of graphic storytelling artists to bring them to life. The result is a collection of absolutely powerful, funny, and pleasing fairy tales ... in the most kid-friendly form. I was enchanted by Gilbert Hernandez's fresh retelling of Hansel and Gretel, thrilled by Luke Pearson's The Boy Who Drew Cats, and tickled by Charise Mericle Harper's The Small Tooth Dog. But that's just me. There is something in Fairy Tale Comics for every kid. Sweet and sour, rhythm and blues, kit and kaboodle.” —Jon Scieszka
Children's Literature - Elizabeth Fronk
Take some traditional folk tales like Hansel and Gretel and add today’s favorite cartoonists and the result is a colorful collection of comic book fairy tales. Seventeen different artists put their unique style on some familiar tales, such as “Snow White,” and some unique ones, such as “Give Me the Shudders” and “The Prince and the Tortoise.” The “Prince and the Tortoise” is one of the better-done tales that is set in an exotic location. A sultan’s three sons must choose a wife. Fate determines the youngest son’s wife to be a tortoise in spite of the sultan’s misgivings. When the sultan becomes ill, each of the wives prepares a soup. The tortoise’s soup has very unusual ingredients but proves to be the perfect remedy. The tortoise may have unique qualities beneath her outward appearance. Some stories are brief, only 3-4 pages, while others are longer. Some of the shorter ones seem to end rather abruptly. One almost wishes that fewer tails were included in order to give the included ones more satisfying endings. However the variety and format of the stories can appeal to a wide range of readers, from middle elementary to young adult. Reviewer: Elizabeth Fronk; Ages 6 to 12.
School Library Journal
Gr 3 Up—Nineteen cartoonists re-envision the world of "once upon a time" in this collection of 17 fairy tales. Stories are chiefly from Grimm and other European sources, but a few represent Middle Eastern, Asian, and American lore. The rich potpourri of interpretations presented in various mediums, styles, and settings makes the anthology unique. Some stories remain true to conventional retellings, while other adaptations have a decidedly fanciful aspect. Readers will note marked differences in the approaches to the Grimm tales. For example, Emily Carroll dresses her "12 Dancing Princesses" in elegant renaissance gowns while the wicked stepmother in Jaime Hernandez's "Snow White" has a futuristically styled gown and headdress. Graham Annable's wordless "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" illustrates the effectiveness of images in nuanced storytelling. "The Prince and the Tortoise" echoes the classic realistic scenes of Prince Valiant, while subdued monochromatic colors and simple drawings of the Japanese "The Boy Who Drew Cats" complement the tale's Asian origins. Several artists inject playful humor: Puss in Boots motors around on a Vespa scooter while the King and Queen travel in a pickup truck bed. The "Bremen Town" setting is the Wild West with outlaws stating, "We ain't goin' near no haunted house." While many traditional stories feature young maidens as beautiful brides, Raina Telgemeier's contemporary "Rapunzel" finds her own version of happily-ever-after when she realizes that "I've got the whole world to explore." These adaptations are sure to enchant devotees of comics and those who like a fresh and distinctive approach to fairy tales.—Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
Kirkus Reviews
A quirky and vibrant mix of visually reinterpreted fairy tales compiled by the editor of the Eisner-nominated Nursery Rhyme Comics (2011). In varying styles, renowned artists present their interpretations of 17 fairy tales ranging from the well-trod "Snow White" and "Hansel and Gretel" to some lesser-known stories, such as "Give Me the Shudders" (a more obscure Brothers Grimm tale), "The Boy Who Drew Cats" (a Japanese tale) and "The Small-Tooth Dog" (an English tale). As individual as snowflakes, the interpretive styles range far and wide. There is a traditional Sunday-comics feel to the captivating "The Prince and the Tortoise," illustrated by comics veteran Ramona Fradon; Graham Annable presents a delightfully wordless and expressive take on "Goldilocks and the Three Bears"; in Gigi D.G.'s digitally reimagined "Little Red Riding Hood," the heroic lumberjack happens to be female; Jillian Tamaki contributes a dreamily earth-toned rendition of "Baba Yaga." This pastiche works beautifully, and it should inspire readers to seek additional versions; those who wish to do so can find helpful suggestions in the editor's note. A veritable who's who of artists renders this an instant crowd-pleaser and will most certainly leave its readers "happily ever after." (editor's note) (Graphic folk tales. 6 & up)

Product Details

First Second
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.70(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.60(d)
GN480L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Sweet Porridge! - Bobby London
The 12 Dancing Princesses - Emily Carroll
Hansel and Gretel -Gilbert Hernandez
Puss in Boots - Vanessa Davis
Little Red Riding Hood - Gigi D.G.
The Prince and the Tortoise - Ramona Fradon & Chris Duffy
Snow White - Jaime Hernandez
The Boy Who Drew Cats - Luke Pearson
Rumpelstiltskin - Brett Helquist
Rabbit Will Not Help - Joseph Lambert
Rapunzel - Raina Telgemeier
The Small Tooth Dog - Charise Mericle Harper
Goldilocks and the Three Bears - Graham Annable
Baba Yaga - Jillian Tamaki
Bremen Town - Karl Kerschl
Give Me the Shudders - David Mazzucchelli
Azzolino's Story Without End - Craig Thompson

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