cover image Fable Comics

Fable Comics

Edited by Chris Duffy. Roaring Brook/First Second, $19.99 (128p) ISBN 978-1-62672-107-4

Duffy adds to his stellar series of traditional tales reimagined by renowned graphic storytellers. As with Nursery Rhyme Comics and Fairy Tale Comics, the artwork is uniformly excellent and the writing is sharp. In these 28 mostly familiar fables (largely from Aesop, with a smattering from other sources), the characters are so engaging that when the fables end abruptly—as fables tend to—it’s tough to let them go. How can readers resist the charm of Maris Wicks’s nerdy sprat, who shares information about cetacean biology while trying to bring peace to warring dolphins and whales (“Might I also add that the artist has drawn our skirmishing cetaceans with human arms... preposterous!” he grouses)? Or James Kochalka’s lunk-headed fox: “Happy little foxes love sweet juicy grapes! Is today my secret magic birthday or something?” Visual styles range from Simone Lia’s stylized graphic shapes to R. Sikoryak’s dead-on tribute to Krazy Kat’s George Herriman and Jennifer L. Meyer’s gauzy baroque set pieces. Readers who first encounter these fables through this collection may be disappointed when they go back to the originals; they’ll seem dry by comparison. Ages 6–12. (Sept.)