Fractured Fables (Free Comic Book Day Edition)
With 2011's Free Comic Book Day fast approaching, I thought it behooved me to check out more of previous years' offerings. Boasting a Mike and Laura Allred cover (her colours are as important to the finished product as his pencils and inks, I think) and with a "Kid Friendly" logo in the bottom corner, the Fractured Fables sampler seemed a good place to start.
Unlike the Asylum Press free sampler I looked at previously, this serves as a preview for a single graphic novel. Like the Asylum Press offering, however, it's a bit hit or miss. Nothing is outright bad this time, but it's still a mixed bag.
There are five takes on fairy tales and nursery rhymes in this comic, with the best being probably "The Real Princess", written by Alexander Grecian and illustrated by Christian Ward. It takes the story of "The Princess and the Pea" as its base, ties it in cleverly to a couple of other fairy tales, and wraps it all up in a beautifully-coloured package. I don't know what else these two have worked on, but I'll try to check them out.
Ted McKeever, one of my favourite artists, turns in an almost-wordless take on "The Cat and the Fiddle". I'm not sure if he consciously toned down his rather distinctive style for this piece, but I didn't recognize his art at first. It's short and, as I said, wordless, and thus avoids the trouble that plagues the three stories I haven't yet mentioned. "Red Riding Hood", "Rumplestiltskin", and "Raponsel" all fall a bit flat in their attempts at comedy, particularly "Rumplestiltskin" with its emphasis on the stupidity of the princess. That being said, the art in "Red Riding Hood" is nice, and the revelation of the true nature of Grandma's house was enough to bring a smile to my face.
A pretty good free offering, and even worth some of your hard-earned cash if you find it for sale in the lair of some unscrupulous and shadowy comics dealer. Sadly, it wasn't enough to tempt me into buying the actual graphic novel.