Thursday’s Tale: The Little Mermaid by Metaphrog

Thursday’s Tale: The Little Mermaid by Metaphrog The Little Mermaid by Metaphrog
Published by Papercutz on April 4, 2017
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Graphic novel, Fairy tale
Pages: 80
Format: eARC
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The Little Mermaid is Hans Christian Andersen's most celebrated tale and is beautifully adapted here as a graphic novel by the Eisner award nominated duo Metaphrog (Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers).

The Little Mermaid lives deep under the ocean and longs to see the world above. When at last she is allowed to rise to the surface at age fifteen, she falls in love with a young prince. In order to become a human and to be with him, she makes a dangerous pact with the Sea Witch.

I’m always a little worried about re-workings of The Little Mermaid. So many of us have seen the Disney version and expect the happy ending for the prince and the mermaid. Metaphrog isn’t giving us a happy ending, they are sticking closer to the original by Hans Christian Andersen.

Our Little Mermaid does fall in love with a human prince and does make a deal with a witch, but the witch is not scary. The Witch is helping and warning our mermaid, but the mermaid still wants to have legs and the witch obliges at the cost of the mermaid’s voice. The mermaid does get to live in the prince’s palace, but the prince marries someone else. In the end, the little mermaid jumps into the sea, dissolves into foam and will live forever in the water. It’s a sad story really.

Metaphrog does cut out the more religious aspects of the original, which should make it appeal to a larger audience. The concept of souls that was so important in the original is left out here.

I loved the illustrations. They are gorgeous and full of detail. The underwater scenes are in shades of blue and green while the land scenes are warm oranges and reds. The mermaid’s feelings can be seen in her expressions. I found the panels easy to follow, which is not always the case, probably because I don’t read many graphic novels/comics.

I think this would be a good book to read with kids, but only if they are going to be okay with a the ending not being the happy wedding. My daughter would have been; I don’t know that my niece would enjoy it. It is beautiful though.

This spread is from early in the story, when the Little Mermaid is dreaming of the time she’ll be old enough to see what’s above the water.

Thursday’s Tales is a weekly event here at Carol’s Notebook. Fairy tales, folktales, tall tales, even re-tellings, I love them all. Feel free to join in.

About Metaphrog

Metaphrog are Franco-Scottish duo Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers, award-winning graphic novelists.

Their Louis series has received several prestigious award nominations including three for the Eisner Awards (the Oscars of comics), and critical acclaim worldwide.

They tirelessly promote the medium of comics and their own work, travelling to deliver talks and workshops, They are Patrons of Reading at Northfield Academy from 2013 until 2017, the first graphic novelists to fill such a role, and were Writers in Residence at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in 2015.

They are winners of The Sunday Herald Scottish Culture Awards 2016 for Best Visual Artist.

Hinterkind Vol. 1: The Waking World by Ian Edginton, illustrated by Francesco Trifogli

Hinterkind Vol. 1: The Waking World by Ian Edginton, illustrated by Francesco Trifogli Hinterkind Vol. 1: The Waking World by Ian Edginton
Illustrator: Francesco Trifogli
Published by Vertigo on April 8, 2014
Source: Purchased
Genres: Graphic novel, Post-apocalyptic, Fantasy
Pages: 144
Format: Paperback
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The human race didn't get a happily ever after.

After 300,000 years at the top of the food chain, it took only seven months for humanity to become an endangered species.
The Blight killed nearly everyone, and changed everything. As skyscrapers sprouted forests and wild animals took over the deserted streets, the planet's new rulers emerged from their age-old hiding places: elves and trolls, faeries and fauns, centaurs and satyrs--all the forgotten races behind countless myths and legends returned to reclaim the world they had lost to mankind.

Now, in a tiny village tucked away in what was once Manhattan's Central Park, two rebellious teenagers are about to discover the true nature of the world beyond their small island home--as well as the unseen menace that threatens both human and Hinterkind alike.

A couple of days ago I was sitting on the recliner in the basement and David must have been watching hockey or baseball or something on tv. Anyway, I was bored and my phone and current read were both upstairs. I was also feeling rather lazy and The Waking World was sitting on the shelf on the end table, so I picked it up, read half that evening and finished it the next day. To be honest, I’m not sure how I got ahold of this originally. I don’t read many graphic novels, but I must have purchased it at some time.

It’s enjoyable enough, but there’s nothing really exciting about it. It’s just okay. The world is interesting, with all the fairy creatures returning, but they’re nothing unique. There’s a semi-military group too, but they’ve run a bit amok and once again don’t strike me as truly unique. The teenage boy could be more than he seems, but his individual story line kind of got over-ridden by the groups’.

There’s only three volumes in the series, so I may read on to see what happens. There were a couple of characters who I found worth following on their adventures. One was the teenage girl Prosper, who may be teamed up with a bounty hunter. The Sidhe royalty also might have an interesting battle brewing amongst themselves.

The art is fine. I guess that’s my main problem with this one – from the blurb I was hoping for great and got fine.

I’m not sure if it’s target audience is adults or teens. It felt like teens to me. I actually told Amber she might enjoy it, that’s it’s not special but it’s a quick read.

About Ian Edginton

Ian Edginton is a British comic book writer, known for his work on such titles as X-Force, Scarlet Traces, H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds and Leviathan.

Watchmen by Alan Moore

Watchmen by Alan Moore Watchmen by Alan Moore
Illustrator: Davd Gibbons
Published by DC Comics on 2005 (first published 1986)
Source: Purchased
Genres: Graphic novel, Science Fiction
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
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It all begins with the paranoid delusions of a half-insane hero called Rorschach. But is Rorschach really insane or has he in fact uncovered a plot to murder super-heroes and, even worse, millions of innocent civilians? On the run from the law, Rorschach reunites with his former teammates in a desperate attempt to save the world and their lives, but what they uncover will shock them to their very core and change the face of the planet! Following two generations of masked superheroes from the close of World War II to the icy shadow of the Cold War comes this groundbreaking comic story — the story of The Watchmen.

This is a tough review to write. On the one hand, I found the Watchmen boring for the most part. It picked up a bit at the end, but I was never really invested in the story. The world wasn’t going to explode, and if it did, I didn’t really care about any of the people anyway. I also thought it was a bit heavy-handed.

On the other hand, putting it back into the time it was originally published, in the 80s during the cold war, the alternate history he painted probably stuck a bit closer to home. Our political outlook, the world’s threats are not the same now as they were then. He also does a fabulous job of weaving together everyone’s stories and provided a comic book within his novel portraying pirates and allowing it to mirror his real world. The popular comic is about pirates, not superheroes. Superheroes, or at least costumed adventurers, exist is the real world, have been outlawed actually, and are therefore not comic book material.

I like how each of the characters, “superheroes” and regular folk are morally gray and they create events and have reactions true to their personalities. It’s not good vs evil. Most are a little of both, or neither, and how you interpret them probably shows as much about you as it does them.

I can’t really comment much on the art. I don’t read many graphic novels and each artist has their own style. I liked the art in the is one, it’s clear and there is so much to each pane, beyond the main characters and the dialogue. Sometimes, I had to remind myself to stop and actually take time to look at the illustrations.

Overall, it’s one I’m glad I finally read, even if I can’t exactly say I enjoyed it.

About Alan Moore

Alan Moore (born 18 November 1953) is an English writer primarily known for his work in comic books including Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and From Hell. Frequently described as the best graphic novel writer in history, he has been called “one of the most important British writers of the last fifty years.”

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