Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale; illustrated by Nathan Hale
I think I have (nearly) cleaned up all my messes of having a month-ish without reliable computer access. I haven't cleaned up the work--not the piled-up inbox, nor the computer-related tasks, nor things that must be done/read/written by a week ago--but in a few programs' installation time, I can start in on tackling.
In between trips to New York (for BEA) and New Orleans (for event planning boot camp class, with a morning at ALA) (note: while fun, you can do lots of fun things and stay connected to people and books without attending either, and I'm happy to expand on that), and a long weekend with family, I read, among other things, Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Deal Hale, with illustrations by (no relation) Nathan Hale (Bloomsbury).
Any graphic novel review I write should come with a disclaimer: I don't entirely "get" graphic novels, comics, manga, and other panel-illustrated writing. It's not because I have some big reason to not appreciate these forms of storytelling; it's probably most accurate to say that I'm very word-visual and linear about that--I read those Choose Your Own Adventures in story chunks, and then read the books from front to back. I love word ambiguity, but not linearity ambiguity, which panel-illustrated stories can sometimes have. I want more words and fewer pictures!
But: I liked this book, and in particular, I liked the first third, where Rapunzel's story is retold in drab browns where Mother Gothel has stripped the countryside bare and enslaved its people, and in vivid greens where Rapunzel is confined to a tower-tree which grows and prompts Rapunzel to grow as well. The next section is a quest to return home and rescue family, and the rest of the story is more episodic, with Rapunzel mostly saving the day, until the Big Confrontation. It's fun to see bits of other fairy tales get hinted at here and there, though.
I don't have a best of last July post, as I only posted giveaways, but it's going-to-the-post-office, no-snow season, so look for more of those coming up.