If there’s any copy of fairy tale comics I’d read to my kids, it’d be this one, hands down. I mean, what better way to show an alternative Cinderella than by turning her into a ninja? Not only is she now badass, but if the sword fits…use it!
FAR OUT FAIRY TALES
by authors Louise Simonson, Sean Tulien, Otis Frampton, Joey Comeau, Benjamin Harper and illustrators Jimena Sanchez, Fernando Cano, Omar Lozano
Stone Arch Books, April 2016
Children’s fairy tales graphic novel
Rated: / 5 cookies
provided by NetGalley
What do you get when classic fairy tales are twisted about, turned inside out, and reworked for the graphic novel format? Far Out Fairy Tales! Discover what Snow White would be like if she were raised by robots. Find out how Cinderella’s story plays out when she walks the path of the ninja. Play along when three billy goats named Gruff get stuck inside a video game. Chase down the Big Bad Wolf with the help of a superpowered Red Riding Hood! Each fairy tale revision holds true to the spirit of the original while adding a modern twist to the classictales we know and love. Experience fairy tales like never before in this innovative series of full-color comic books for kids!
Far Out Fairy Tales should be considered an anthology of fairy tales given particular twists. Each tale is written by a different author, with a particular care to endear young readers to look at a familiar tale with a different perspective. It’s a neat idea, one totally am enthusiastic over, especially when–as experience has it–my little voldies at school clamor for a familiar tale. My little voldies (charming little four-year-olds…) are particularly attached to Rapunzel (or “Princess Pahunzel” as one of my little voldies call the titular figure), so I was only a little bummed out that there was no variation of it in this volume.
That said! The antho included retellings of Cinderella as a ninja, Little Red Riding Hood as a superhero, the Billy Goats Gruff as a party of three in a fantasy role-playing game, Snow White as a child being raised by robots, and Hansel and Gretel as not so much lovable kids, but brain-guzzling zombie children.
Frankly, I’m not even sure where to begin.
Probably at “Ninja-rella.” As a sword-honing ninja, Cinderella gets a bit of an edge (haha) to her tale, and she’s not exactly your typical damsel in the story. While she does have a fairy god-ninja (yes, you heard correctly, a fairy god-ninja) who helps her gain entry into the acclaimed swordfighting prince’s ball, Cinderella’s goal is anything but marriage. She wants to–yes, yes, and triple yes!–be the prince’s bodyguard instead. I mean, yes, I’m sure fanfic writers out there will be able to spin this into a romance between prince and bodyguard years later (I um…totally did *cough*), but how awesome is it that Cinderella is more focused first on a career as a ninja?
Similarly, the other fairy tale retellings are refreshing and upbeat. “Red Riding Hood” is a fairy tale version of Supergirl, flying and saving her grandma (who happens to be the President of the United States) from the villainous werewolf.
“Three Billy Goats” is blatantly a more adventurous take on a tale about three goats crossing a bridge. I actually love reading “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” to my little voldies, mostly because we always get carried away with the trip-trapping of the goats and the booming “WHO WALKS MY BRIDGE” hollering made by the troll. The RPG-type retelling is amusing, though I did admittedly find it too chaotic for a younger reader.
“Snow White and the Seven Robots” was probably my least favorite of the retellings, though the bias is mostly because I was never really a fan of the original Snow White tale to begin with. It does get revamped with a science fiction twist to it, one I can still appreciate.
“Hansel & Gretel” ended the collection with zombie children. I kid you not, that is where we are sent when we are introduced to the lovely Hansel and Gretel and their zombie parents. This was a hilarious comic which sticks close enough to the source material whilst changing character personalities and endings around. It was definitely one of my favorites in the collection, right up there with “Ninja-rella.”
Overall, the stories are fitting for ages as young as four to maybe eight or nine. Heck, I read it and enjoyed it, but my mindset does revert to four-year-old mentality, considering who I deal with on a regular basis. All the same, I’d totally find a way to read this to my little voldies given the chance.
3.5 out of 5 cookies!