Fable Comics ed. Chris Duffy is a collection of fables retold and illustrated by a variety of artists and authors. Many of the tales stick pretty close to the familiar source material; “Lion and Mouse,” for example is close to Aesop in its broad outlines. What keeps these retellings interesting is the same thing that has kept retellings interesting for hundreds of years: The individual twist each author gives the tale.
R. Sikoryak, for example, has given the mouse and lion a distinctive dialect and an unusual, distinctive style in tribute, as he writes at the end, to Crazy Kat. Marris Wick’s narrator in “The Dolphins the Whales and the Sprat” keeps being interrupted with lectures on dolphins, whales, and the correct anatomy and categorization of each. Jon Kershbaum gives “The Grasshopper and the Ants” a more artist-friendly ending.
The artistic styles vary as much as the storytelling choices. Most could be described as “cartoon” in nature, but anyone who has read cartoons knows that covers a lot of territory. R.O. Bleckhman has illustrated “The Sun & the Wind” in a very basic fashion—the cloud is the cloud we all draw when we want clouds, and the sun a very familiar yellow circle—though each is more expressive than is usual; it is the lettering that he varies more. Ambrose Bierce given “Man and Wart” yellow notebook paper for a background, and kept the colors solid. George O’ Connor’s gods are recognizable from one story to another.
It is a pleasure turning from one story to the next, from one style to another, examining the variations and beauties of each.
All told, Fable Comics is a treasure-box of tales, just waiting to be opened.
Fable Comics comes out on September 22, 2015. Look for it on Amazon
Pairs well with:
Fairy Tale Comics: Classic Tales Told by Extraordinary Cartoonists