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Inkspot Fancy

Comics and fantasy and sci-fi, oh my!

Currently reading

The House on the Borderland
William Hope Hodgson
Dust and Light: A Sanctuary Novel
Carol Berg
The Dead
Jen Hickman, Robert James Maddox
Deadlands: Dead Man's Hand
David Gallaher, Jeff Mariotte, Jimmy Palmiotti
Ghost Hunt 2
Shiho Inada, Fuyumi Ono
Devil Survivor 1
Satoru Matsuba
Once Upon a Time Machine - Andrew Carl, Chris Stevens, Tara Alexander, Jason Rodriguez, Lee Nordling Fairy tales updated with a sci-fi twist? I was sold on this premise so hard I didn't even finish reading the description before I put in an order for it. And I'm glad I got it, but the quality of this book is highly uneven, and I think a lot of the enjoyment will be out of what presses your artistic and storytelling buttons over what's just flat-out good. there's a lot to enjoy here, but you have to have certain tolerances for other stories.Reviews of each story under the spoiler tag for... well, spoilers.1001 - In interesting story to start on, it begins with a woman just getting her first job in the comics industry - the same day management decides to shut it down. She goes into the main office and asks him to hear just one story pitch. He does, and is entranced by what he hears.This takeoff of One Thousand and One Nights was short and sweet, with a lovely art style and at least one unfortunately thing in the storytelling section - I'll leave it to you if you notice it and it bothers you. It may not.John Henry - I think this was one of the stories that best embraced the time machine aspect of the collection, though the entire thing being told oral-tradition-style didn't work terribly well for me. Surprising since I usually love that choice of style. The art is wonderfully comic-book-y and I thought it had a very strong ending.Silver Hair and the Three Xairs - Maybe I'm just not the right audience for this, but I found the story to be irritating, all the more so because it wanted to be funny and failed ridiculously. The art style was at least cute and it gave the alien world a cool feel... but I just could not enjoy this story and the ending felt like it wanted to be all lesson-y but failed that too. The Stars are not Wanted Now - One of the most touching bits in the book. The story of Pinocchio as an AI, and its conflicting proscriptions to be truth and to be like a human. This reached me in a way the original Pinocchio story never did.The Tea Garden Park Soapbox Grand Prix - A somewhat straightforward telling of the tortise and the hare, with mechs and auto races and weaponry. Enjoyable and with a fun art style but nothing particularly outstanding.The Three Musketeers - Another I felt used the premise really well, it imagined three musketeers who HAVE to work together to be efficient.I loved the art style of this one, found it dynamic which was very important for a heavily action-oriented piece.Sweet science - I don;'t know the original story of this one, but I found this takeoff with scientists creating essentially a replicator from Star Trek to be funny.The Three Little Pigs - perhaps my favorite of the stories in this collection, it really strays from the original, with the wolf as an investigative reporter who's not so much blowing down the pigs' houses as their reputations. I loved the ending, and I should have seen it coming but I totally did not.No strings - I also don't know the original of this one so can't say how it related, but the sketchy inks and watercolor colors made it a beautiful section to look at, and I found the tale enjoyable, if forgettable.The last leaf - the art and writing give this an incredibly claustrophobic feel, as its set on an oppressive space station. Sub ants in a terrarium for the leaves on the vine and you have your story.The Shepherd and the Weaver Girl - Another strong section of the book - a thoroughly enjoyable read with a nice mix of traditional and sci-fi story elements and expressive art.Rikki-Tikki-Tavi - Perhaps the best update of them all, with RTT being a pet made of nanomachines who is the only companion of a very sick child. If you can only read one item in the collection, I'd advise this one.The Crossing - Very pretty art, but the story felt unfocused and lost.Kid Yimage and the Really Big Hole - I can't help but think this is the first item where not knowing the original tale hurts it. I get the lesson, but it feels like this story doesn't have anything to so with the future or sci-fi or anything it felt out of place.The Ugly Duckling - A cute, simple rocket story. :)The Boy who Cried Wolf - Pretty much what you expect. Worth it only for the ostentatious, colorful art.A.L.I.C.E. - I'll be honest, this one lost me all the way around.The Five Chinese Brothers - And then this one won me back. A terrible, powerful story. I need to look up the original now, because this one got me, and the art style made it all the more striking.Caged - Straightforward and a very good scifi take on the story. Another one with very comic book-y art as well, which I personally love.Vasilissa the Beautiful - Anotehr touching one with simple, beautiful art. the story of a girl and ehr helpful teddy bear.the Peach-Pit Boy - Fun and fanciful, I wanted this one to be longer than it was, but I enjoyed what I was given. The artwork really enhanced the story here.Humpty Dumpty - Creepy. That is all. Creepy.The Boy Who Drew Cats - This is another where I think I needed to know the original story. It was a cute tale but I really didn't get the feeling of a sci-fi updateA Destiny Earned - A cute story that would have had a home in a dozen places. It really speaks to the feeling of being stuck, really stuck, in your life and your job and about working to change things. I very much enjoyed it.Bombus and Vespula - I did NOT see that ending coming.I also suggest it jsut for the one- or two-page spreads of ideas about other updates. Some of them were very striking and imaginitive and beautiful.Overall, a great book, but at its size and cost, it may have difficulty justifying itself for purchase.