Saturday, December 20, 2014

[BOOK REVIEW] Fractured Fables by Jim Valentino

Title:  Fractured Fables

Authors:  Jim Valentino, Bryan Talbot, Doug TenNapel, Jill Thompson, Peter David, Nick Spencer and Laini Taylor

Artists: Vicente Navarrete, Whilce Portacio,  Fernando Pinto, Christian Ward and Rodin Esquejo

Genre:  Short Stories / Fables / Fairy Tales / Folktales / Comedy / Drama

Year Published:  2010

Year Read: 12/13/2014

Publisher: Image Comics

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 10+ (Some Rude Behavior)


Now, I am a major fairy tale and folktale enthusiast, so whenever I see any form of fairy tales and folktales in books (whether it is through graphic novels or a retelling of the fairy tale), I just have to pick up those series!  So, imagine my surprise when I had just picked up a new graphic novel that twists your favorite fairy tales and fables called “Fractured Fables” (think of the “Fractured Fairy Tales” segment from the “Rocky and Bullwinkle” cartoons) into more modern day interpretations of your favorite fairy tales!

What is this story about?

This collection has over thirty fairy tales and fables that are being retold in a more modern day twist and is being written by several well-known comic book writers such as Bryan Talbot, Doug TenNapel, Jill Thompson, Peter David, Nick Spencer and Laini Taylor.  Some of the stories featured in this collection are:

The Secret Princess Society

Written by Marie Cruz
Illustrated by Whilce Portacio

Mimi had a little sister named Meg who would constantly follow her everywhere and do everything that her big sister was doing, which would sometimes annoy Mimi.  One day however, when Meg started enrolling in a new dance class and made some new friends, she ended up joining a mysterious club called the “Secret Princess Society.” This club requires for the girls to go into a dark forest and meet up with some strange guests who they would dance with all throughout the night.  Mimi then discovers that something is wrong with this mysterious place and she tries to save her little sister Meg from whatever forces are controlling her sister and her friends!

This is the House that Jack Built

Written by Neil Kleid
Illustrated by Fernando Pinto

The story starts off with a man named Jack building a house when two boys, who lived with him, started throwing their toys out of the window.  Then things get much more chaotic later on when a bunch of neighbors, their kids and some high school students ended up crashing into Jack’s house and started partying at Jack’s house!

Can Jack get rid of these unwelcome guests?

Pie Eating Contest (Tortoise and the Hare)

Written by Joshua Williamson
Illustrated by Vicente Navarrete

In this more unusual spin on the classic fable “The Tortoise and the Hare,” the tortoise and the hare get involved in a pie eating contest and even though the Hare was able to eat more than the Tortoise, well…. Let us just say that eating too much pie does a number on your stomach!

What I loved about this story:

The writing: As a graphic novel that has a huge collection of different stories, this collection has various writers that all came together to write their own twists on famous fairy tales and fables and man, was this graphic novel one wild ride!  There were a couple of stories in this collection that really made me smile and laugh at the hilarious nature of these stories and my favorite stories in this collection would have to be “Spanking Robots (Pinocchio),” which is written by Laini Taylor along with artwork by Jim Di Bartolo, “Cinderella,” which is written by Nick Spencer along with artwork by Rodin Esquejo and “The Real Princess (The Princess and the Pea),” which is written by Alexander Grecian along with artwork by Christian Ward.  These stories were my favorites because they put an interesting twist to the classic fairy tales, especially “Cinderella” and “The Real Princess” and I really enjoyed how these twists just made the stories even more interesting!

The artwork:  As with many graphic novels that has a collection of stories, there were some artworks in this collection that I really enjoyed.  My favorite artwork in this graphic novel came from the works of Christian Ward and Rodin Esquejo, as they were gorgeous to look at and they were probably the most realistic artwork in this collection, since the majority of the artwork in this graphic novel had a cartoony vibe.

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

The reason why I gave this graphic novel a three and a half star rating was because even though there were some good stories in this collection, most of the stories I had read were just average to me and not that interesting at all.  I was a bit irritated at the fact that most of these stories would end so abruptly without a good conclusion to the situations that the characters are in and it just made it difficult for me to really get into the stories.  Now, I understand that because there are various writers writing a different story, the stories would have to be shortened in some kind of way to make room for all the stories, but still, I would have liked it better if some of the stories have some kind of closure that would satisfy me.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Fractured Fables” may have some hilarious and creative stories that twist our favorite classic fairy tales, but there were too many average stories in this collection that kind of downplayed my interest for the stories in this graphic novel.

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