cover image Tamamo the Fox Maiden and Other Asian Stories

Tamamo the Fox Maiden and Other Asian Stories

Edited by Kel McDonald. Iron Circus, $15 paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-945820-34-2

Magical possessions and demons, ghosts, and gods appear throughout these 21 visually reimagined Asian tales by as many creators, including Gene Luen Yang, Nina Matsumoto, and Carla Speed McNeil. The stories range from more traditional to slightly modern portrayals. In Shannon Campbell and Lucy Bellwood’s “#EndoftheWorld,” from India, “@Makara” provides what may prove to be embarrassing online status updates about the sun’s death (in reality, the orb has just set for the evening). Jonathan Dalton’s “The Ballad of Mulan,” from China, meanwhile, details the story’s looms and armor with nary a smartphone in sight. A range of art styles, too, illustrate the stories: Andrew Sides employs detailed linework in “The Tiger, The Brahmin, and the Jackal,” from India, and Molly Nemecek uses a lighter cartoon style to tell a tale of love, ghosts, and hot sauce in “Ghost Pepper,” from Laos. Though each title lists the story’s country of provenance, further context about the original iterations might have been useful; even so, this second volume in the Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales collection exposes young readers to rich stories and mythologies from across Asia alongside work from many indie creators. Ages 10–12. [em](Apr.) [/em]