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Hi all! Elle here. It’s been a little while since we posted reviews to the site, but I recently I picked up two new picture books that I thought you guys might enjoy. So! Without further ado, I’d like to recommend:
Since it’s Gaiman and he does all kinds of stories, I should clarify that this IS an all ages picture book so it’s quite short – only about 22 pages of text – but it’s beautifully written and the the illustrations are fantastic. Unlike some of Gaiman’s other fairy
tales, this is a straight-forward adaptation of the original story that he embellishes with lots of little details that add nuance to the different characters.
All of the illustrations are black and white ink paintings that are so expressive they’re almost abstract, like looking at the shadows cast by a flickering candle. The setting of the story becomes eerie and overwhelming, really putting the audience in the position of Hansel and Gretel as their tiny silhouettes wander through forests built of large swirling brush strokes.
Schenker is a German artist who does papercraft illustrations, so the illustrations in this book are a combination of collaged papercraft images and laser-cut pages that allow the next page to peek through. It’s a beautiful layering effect that works well with the imagery of a forest. I particularly love the impact of a page of tree silhouettes layered over Red Cap and the Wolf while they talk.
The book is presented like an art object – the cover is a thick archival mattboard, bound along the side with linen thread – and my
copy came wrapped in a clear plastic slipcover to protect it. The overall impact is very elegant! She has a matching Hansel and Gretel
as well, I think I’m going to have to check it out.
As a side note: While I love this book, Schenker’s art is very different from classic fairy tale illustration and may not be to everyone’s taste. I recommend looking at sample pages online before ordering.
Gina is going to be a guest at KATSUCON this Valentine’s Weekend. The convention is in National Harbor, MD, so come out to the Gaylord Hotel and join us. We’d love to have you visit us at our booth and check out our panels! We’ll have tons of merchandise and warm smiles!
Missed the Kickstarter? Wishing you had gotten a copy of one or both of the gorgeous HARDCOVER Erstwhile collections? Fear not! We now have BOTH BOOKS available for sale in our online store! They’ll make a great gift for yourself or a loved one… or anyone who loves fairy tales!
In our last list we mentioned we were going to be doing Jorinda & Joringel after the conclusion of The 12 Huntsmen, but ended up going with Sweetheart Roland. A few folks have asked us why we chose to change the story lineup.
This was a development issue that started encroaching on the time sensitivity of the work. I (Gina) kept working on designs for Jorinda and Joringel and nothing was meshing. The script wasn’t coming together. I was hating everything I was coming up with, and time was running out to get something started. After a while I went back to my fairy tale collections and started rereading tales, looking for inspiration. Sweetheart Roland immediately struck me and I was able to write up an adaptation easily and hammer out some character designs that I found fun and enjoyable to draw.
I discussed the choice with the other Erstwhile artists and agreed to change the story. Then we figured out the other stories we wanted to include in the eventual book three print collection. We may eventually revisit the idea of Jorinda and Joringel, but not for a while. Here is the list of stories to expect after Sweetheart Roland is completed.
The Leftovers (Louisa)
The Ungrateful Son (Louisa)
The Wolf & the Seven Kids (Elle)
Princess Mouseskin (Gina) **(Though Gina may change her mind again. There’s no way to be sure.)