Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Alive!

Daisy news first: the pup let me sleep ALL NIGHT last night. After three days of minimal rest, I was so thankful she didn't keep me up. I was beginning to wonder if I adopted a minion of the devil.

See. Doesn't she look sort of minion-like? I caught a great picture of her on my cell phone yesterday in which she looks innocent and angelic. The unknown truth is that she jettisoned herself off of the chair and pounced on my face shortly after the picture was taken. Harummphf.

In book news, I finished one! I've had a really hard time settling into anything reading-related lately (even before the puppy, as you probably already know). However, on Friday, the 8th of February, 2007 PP (pre-puppy), I brought Bill Willingham's 1001 Nights of Snow Fall graphic novel to work with me. It was an exceptionally slow day, so I sat right here in the writing center and finished the whole thing! Gulp!

Y'all know I wrote my thesis on this comics series, so I probably don't have to tell you that once that M.A. was done I didn't want a thing to do with these graphic novels for a while. It seems the detox period has passed, and I'm more than thrilled to be jumping back into the fairy tale retelling fray.

This particular book is a stand-alone prequel to the series--a collection of background stories that help shed some light on the characters' idiosyncrasies. The framework is that Snow White is being held captive by a sultan and has to tell her stories, Shaherazad style, in order to protect her life. There's a really fun twist involving Shaherazad, but you'll have to read the book yourself to find out what it's all about.

One of the most unique parts about this collection is the artwork. Each story is illustrated by a different artist. James Jean is the series's cover illustrator, and I particularly enjoyed his work in this collection. Which story he illustrated slips my mind at the moment, but I'll update this section when I get home today.

Aside from the gorgeous illustrations, the stories are typical Willingham hilarity, inspiration, and always a touch of tragedy. The things he does with traditional folk and fairy tale characters are truly inspiring for any story teller. He somehow manages to hold onto the traditional elements of the fairy tales yet tap into something innovative and capitalize on the shady, nondescript elements of their character.

The Fables series as a whole is just a hell of a good time. For anyone interested in retellings this is definitely the series for you.

15 comments:

  1. Glad to hear you got some sleep. See, better already!

    That book sounded really great, I LOVE retellings of fairy tales. I'm adding it to the list right now.

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  2. Awww...what a sweet looking pup! Congrats on your new family member (and for getting some sleep)!

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  3. I didn't know this one was a stand alone! I've actually flipped through its pages a few times at bookshops, and the artwork simply makes me drool. So gorgeous.

    I think I'll pick it up at some point this year, then, even though I've only read the first two books in the series.

    Glad to know the puppy let you sleep! I remember staying up quite a few nights when I got my first dog. They are incredibly cute, but they really can act minion-like.

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  4. you know lately gus won't sleep with us and hasn't been waking us up in the mornings as much and i miss it. but im still glad you got some sleep new puppies are so much work but it is worth it eh? so cute!!!

    i just finished a boook that tooook me forever to get through so glad it is FINALLY over but now stupid facebook won't let me up date my iread. BAH

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  5. Congrats on the new puppy, and on finishing a book. Daisy is adorable!

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  6. Yay for getting some sleep. That cute little puppy could never be an evil scamp - what are you talking about. Look at the cuteness! :)
    Question on the book... you said it's a series, is this one of those that should be read in order or do the stories pretty much stand apart on their own?

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  7. Funny how puppy knows when she's going too far...do we have a wag the dog situation? :)

    She's a cutie.

    That book seems really intriguing. Will check it out.

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  8. Awesome, I have been looking for a good graphic novel series to get into. Do you recommend reading this prequel first?

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  9. To bes honest I am not really a dog person (though I do like them and we had them as pets growing up), but dang if that is not the cutest little puppy!! I've been wanting to give some graphic novels a try. I don't think I've ever really read any. My library is getting more and more, so I really do need to check something out. Any suggestions where to start?

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  10. Glad to hear the post MA 'I never want to touch this again' phase has passed.

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  11. Kim, it really is fantastic. The whole series is great starting with Fables: Legends in Exile.

    Thanks, EL! Last night was another good night, too. Yay!

    Nymeth, I think you'll LOVE 1001 Nights of Snowfall! Right up your alley indeed, and I don't think you'll miss out on anything because you've just read the first 2 in the series. Enjoy!

    Corinna, even though it's tough right now, I know I'll be sad when she grows up, gets more independent, and stops all the puppy'ish things she's doing now.

    And which book?! I have to know! lol

    Thanks, Courtney!

    Iliana, the stories stand well on their own. It's a bit funnier if you have read some of the series, but I think you'd enjoy it either way. The first in the series, if you're interested, is Fables: Legends in Exile.

    LOL, LK! Definitely check out the book. :)

    April, I would recommend reading a few of the proper series books first. You won't really miss out on anything if you read the prequel first, but it's nice and funny and "intertextual" if you have a few of the series books out of the way.

    Thanks, Danielle! She is pretty sweet, isn't she?! lol I had cats growing up but have turned into a dog person in my older age. We've had dogs since my teens, and now I just can't imagine being without them.

    As for graphic novels, I would recommend starting with something literary and rich and wonderfully told. With that in mind I would steer your towards Persepolish I and II by Marjane Satrapi (especially if you like anything about Reading Lolita in Tehran). It's a graphic novel memoir of her time growing up in Iran during the revolution.

    I would also recommend Art Spiegelman's Pulitzer prize-winning Maus I and II about Spiegelman's father's experiences in Nazi Germany.

    LOL, thanks, Stu!

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  12. I'm so glad you're sleeping again. Of course, you could always take Daisy to bed with you. Puppies are much better than hot water bottles. They don't get colder as the night goes on.

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  13. STILL THE CUTEST PUPPY!!!

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  14. This is what I get for not blog-hopping for a while. You got a baby!! She's so cute! Congratulations.

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