Thursday, October 31, 2013

For Your Late Night Halloween Storytelling: “The Tale of the Boy Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was”

This is actually courtesy of the smart and talented Cate Fricke at Something To Read For the Train, and is so perfect for today, that I'm re-blogging a portion before sending you over to her site to read the rest.

This is a "freewrite" inspired by the perfect-for-Halloween Grimm's tale:
004. The Tale of the Boy Who Set Out to Learn What Fear Was
*This post is part of A Grimm Project, a series of short fiction pieces using each of the Brothers Grimms’ Nursery and Household Tales as writing prompts. For more information about the project, click here. For more about the story which inspired this freewrite, click here.* 
When the bed stopped its bucking and the cats had gone to find milk, I straightened my suspenders and set off to explore the final wing of the castle. What fun I’d had so far—sheets askew and cards scattered, the castle had the look of a gaming den. One final hallway, one final door. I rapped my knuckles loudly, and the door gave way. 
Ah, it’s you, someone said. 
I could see no one in the dark. The voice was quiet and raspy. 
Nursing a cold there, eh, sir? I said. 
I heard a scratching noise near my feet. Fumbling in my pockets, I found the last match and lit it against my shoe sole. The small light flickered—two eyes looked up at me from the stone floor, reflecting the match’s dance...
Go HERE to read the rest of todays delicious entry and don't forget to also click on the link to Cate's notes and thoughts on the original tale.

BUT before you leave - please make sure you ALSO check out her inspired and wonderful Grimm Project, of which this story is a part.

I have been remiss in not mentioning it till now but it's one of those wonderful things I felt deserved more than a quick mention and, as a result, intimidated myself out of writing anything about it at all (when really I should be doing the exact opposite *red face*).

By the way, if you're looking for something to kick you into NaNoWriMo, which starts TOMORROW - this would be a perfect starting point!

Here's an excerpt from the "about' page to whet your writing appetite.

... read the rest at The Grimm Project HERE.

And Happy Halloween...

"The Grim" - Animated Web Series Halloween Premiere

This is a Kickstarter project that was successfully funded and the completed premiere webisode was uploaded this evening.

Months after the wolf attacked, Red Riding Hood must relive the terrible events and rediscover herself in this ongoing series.
The Grim is an ongoing series project that takes the characters of Grimm's fairy tales and nursery rhymes and works to connect their stories. The story begins with Red Riding hood. It's been months after the wolf attacked and she has completely blocked the traumatizing incident from her mind. As she continues to walk into the forest to search for the grandmother she still believes is alive the truth of that day begins to come back to her. Along with this she comes to learn that the wolf is relentlessly searching for her for reasons she doesn't yet understand. What commences is a story that finds Red searching for the origins of the wolf, the reason it hunts her, and how to stop it. Along the way she'll encounter many other familiar fairytale characters who will all have a mysterious connection to her journey and the wolf. This is a story about a girl coming to age in a harsh and grim world that is very unforgiving with its life lessons. The Grim also aims to take fairy tale creatures like Gingerbread men and make them surprisingly human.

This project definitely has potential and, if they've kept it fresh from other familiar mash-ups we know, is likely to take some twists and turns we're not familiar with. I like the post-wolf attack and unreliable memory premise. It would make for a different coming of age story to the usual LRRH ones. The first episode, titled "Fox", has very specific jaws this girl is worried about are different than the norm and it seems an apt metaphor for the place she's in post-attack as well.
While on her way to her Grandmother's, Gertrude Byrnes finds herself trapped and the only help she can find may only give her more trouble.
"Wolf" - Hasani Walker
I have to say I am impressed with what I've seen so far. While computer animation tends to be off-putting to me much of the time, the production is impressive and uses a smart mix of miniatures, stop motion puppets and computer animation to good effect. The opening frames of the main character didn't convince me but a minute or two in to her story I was far more interested than I thought I would be. I'm not completely sold on all the design aspects but was surprised how quickly they grew on me.

The fox and wolf characters (wolf shown in drawing only so far) are very reminiscent of Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke characters, something that I think works here. It's early yet and there are only two characters interacting so far so we'll see, but overall, this seems promising.

You can watch the first episode below:

If you enjoyed that and would like to keep up to date, subscribe to Hasani Walker's YouTube channel for updates and to be alerted for new episodes when they're uploaded, or follow on Tumblr which should do the same. Hasani Studios is also on Facebook and posting updates, behind-the-scenes and more from all the various projects.

Mr. Walker is currently continuing work on The Grim and submitting it to festivals.

The Little Mermaid's Halloween

All the little mermaid wanted was to be a human for Halloween by Kiri Østergaard Leonard
What would the Little Mermaid wear for Halloween? Why legs of course!

I love this painting and it's different perspective on the tale (tail?). Although The Little Mermaid is incredibly popular, it's not often we imagine the Little Mermaid in her pre-story, longing state to become human/get legs/find a soul. Did she ever pretend she had legs? Did she paint her tail? Make a fake pair to wear just so she could see what she might look like with legs?

In many ways Danish artist, Kiri Østergaard Leonard's re-visioning of the story here, does the exact opposite of what many people do on Halloween (especially those in mermaid costumes!) - in dressing up we seek to escape our humanity and enter the fantastic while here, the Little Mermaid, seeks to enter humanity and join the human race (though in this case, she'd need a size adjustment as well).
"Happy Halloween! The Little Mermaid was always one of my favourite H. C. Andersen tales, it’s a tragic story but also beautiful story. The Little mermaid plays into feelings most women can relate to, wanting your body to be something else than it is and not being able to appreciate what you already are. With this illustration I took the idea of the ‘Little’ mermaid quite literally. It’s playing a little of the fairy tale with the mermaid wanting legs, but it quickly grew into its own story. I do have plans to make some illustrations that are truthful to the original story in the future." by Kiri Østergaard Leonard*
Although dressing up at Halloween originated in attempting to trick soul stealers and devils through disguise, today's traditions embrace both the wishing aspect and in embracing our own dark sides. I wonder if the Little Mermaid knew, in wishing to be human, that she was doing both?

This Halloween night, may you feel close to those you love who have passed on and have the strength and courage to face your own dark sides.

Happy Samhain everyone! 

Kiri Østergaard Leonard is an illustrator and artist from Denmark, now living and working in New York. Her website can be found HERE, where you can see her other lovely fairy tale and fantasy work. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Carol Ann Duffy & BalletLORENT Create a Spellbinding Rapunzel

I mentioned this contemporary ballet production briefly on Facebook a while back but it keeps appearing in the news - with good reason, so it's about time I wrote a proper post.

More and more positive critical response is appearing as people see BalletLORENT's new full-length work, Rapunzel (currently on tour in the UK). They're also taking note of the star-studded creative team aboard this project as well (finally!).

There was a considerable period of research time spent during the creation of Rapunzel, in conjunction with the world-famous Sadlers Wells Ballet Company and the project attracted some diverse world class talent as a result. BalletLORENT has a very good reputation in contemporary dance circles but beyond that the production boasts the talents of:

  • Carol Ann Duffy  - multi-award winning poet, writer and playwright as well as having been appointed British poet laureate in 2009 (and whom should be known specifically to regular blog readers here for her work with fairy tales)
  • Murray Gold - composer for Doctor Who
  • Michele Clapton - costume designer for Game of Thrones
  • Lesley Sharp - award winning British actress for film and TV (she is Narrator for the ballet)
  • Phil Eddolls -  Commonwealth and Olympic Games set designer
And many more..! (You can see the full creative contributors HERE.)
Take a look at the promo video. It's beautiful, unusual and interesting.
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

(The First?) "Fables Encyclopedia" Release Day

Dust cover art for Fables Encyclopedia
It's release day for the highly anticipated Fables Encyclopedia today, and it sounds better than I could have hoped for. Covering issues 1 to 121 (and including 1001 Night of Snowfall) the book promises an excellent read, including more information on both characters and stories (and you know Willingham will be adding notes on obscure fairy tales and folklore he's included as well).

Since I'm not able to go get a copy for myself just yet, I'm going to re-blog a review by Kurt Isensee aka The Iceman from Geeks Of Doom.

Since Fables issues already numbers well into 130+  and have many (many!) spin-offs, which aren't mentioned as being covered in this volume, it should be safe to assume that a second encyclopedia is already underway/under consideration.
The Fables Encyclopedia, by Jess Nevins, covers issues 1 – 121, and 1001 Nights of Snowfall. After only a few pages, it became clear to me that this is an indispensible tome, serving to compliment, and enhance the issues it covers. Hopefully, there’ll be a second volume in another decade or so. 
It’s loaded with panels from the comics, helping to refresh memories for more obscure characters, and includes enriching sidebar comments from Bill Willingham — check out his notes on the Hope character — cryptically cool! Plus, there are also fourteen pages of issue by issue annotations, as well as lots of behind-the-scenes tidbits, and clever revelations, such as artist Mark Buckingham’s inspiration for Tom Harrow. 
The sheer depth of the Fables Encyclopedia serves as a demonstration/reminder (as if the monthly comic wasn’t enough) as to just how well-read Willingham is, especially with regards to fairy tales/mythology from a number of cultures. It’s also testament to the staggering achievement in comics literature that is Fables. 
Well before the halfway mark, this encyclopedia made me want to go back and re-read my Fables trades. 
So I did. 
Highly recommended.
Notes and annotations!! *swoon*

Summary: it's awesome aka I will be getting one ASAP.

List price is $39.99. (Amazon currently has it for $25.29 for the hardcover and the Kindle edition for $22.99).

Fairy Tale Villains Do the "Spell Block Tango"

Todrick Hall's "Spell Block Tango"
Note: I meant to post this yesterday but time got away from me, (I always wish I could clone myself a few times during Halloween week!), so apologies for not alerting you before it went viral. 

This is another musical gem from Todrick Hall*, creator of Cinderonce, and is very fun. Not only is it extremely well done, it's great to hear the villainess' (ahem, including Scar) "arguing their POV", Chicago style. It's in perfect keeping with the current trend of retelling stories from the villains point of view (and it makes me want to see Chicago re-done with fairy tale characters).

The lyrics have been adjusted for each character and the Queen of Hearts' plea of "not guilty" is priceless.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, The Spell Block Tango.


Kind of genius, really. I can't wait to see what Todrick Hall will do next!

A former American Idol finalist turned actor and filmmaker, Hall has become known for his YouTube videos that combine show tunes or Top-40 hits with popular culture, such as his video "Cinderonce", which told the story of Cinderella using only Beyoncé songs.
* Source

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Cap O' Rushes by Severino Baraldi

It's been a while since I did an art post so I dug into my drafts folder and found these gems to share. They are one of the set of fairy tale illustrations by the prolific and amazing Italian painter, Severino Baraldi.

You can be forgiven if you're from the US or UK and not aware of his work. He seems far better known in Europe, though that's a shame because his work is stunning. This is where my love of the internet knows no bounds - to have access to so many the fantastic things, especially writers and artists, that, till now, have been sequestered in their own countries and regions for whatever reason. Now we can all appreciate and enjoy the beauty!

The original source alerting me to this set said these illustrations are from a German tale titled, Prinzessin Binsenkappe, loosely translated as Princess Rush-Hood (or Cap O' Rushes).

Born in 1930, his illustrations cover a range of historical subjects, vehicles and Biblical subjects as well as fairy tales.

Aren't they beautiful? There are many more of Baraldi's "enchanted illustrations" on the web and by searching Pinterest HERE and Flickr HERE too.

He would seem to be quite an admirer of Gustav Tenggren (whose fairy tale work you likely know well, including Tenggren's influence on Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), but especially with regard to his 1001 Arabian Nights illustrations (see comparisons below), to the extent he reposed almost identical scenes. This style sensibility he seemed to carry through to his other fairy tale work though, like Cap O' Rushes shown above, and he ended up producing some truly beautiful pieces. I'm surprised we don't see his work more often, especially since it lends itself so well to popular animation styles today.

Baraldi was actually offered work in animation earlier in his career but he turned it down in favor of creating a huge set of Biblical illustrations. It should be noted, though, that he got his start in art by doing chalk drawings on pavement to entertain customers of a local barber's shop, as well as doing cartoons for a newspaper before moving on to more "serious art" and study, so seeing him return to a stylized form of these art expressions shouldn't be too surprising. I'm glad he did. These are some of the most beautiful and delightful works he produced. Although the others are amazing and the detail and technique are quite awe inspiring, it's these fairy tale illustrations that capture the imagination.

Baraldi has had quite a busy life, one which seems to have him constantly employed in illustration of one kind or another throughout, which is a great achievement in itself. He's now retired and enjoying his family, although I have no doubt his paint brushes aren't gathering dust now either. :)

You can read up on a detailed explanation of his biography and illustrations HERE.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Grimm Season 3 Premieres TONIGHT (Finally!)

While it seems late compared to other shows it would seem expectation for Grimm is the highest it's ever been.
(They knew the wait would be a long one didn't they?!)

So tonight's the night folks! Set your DVR...

And, while Grimm fans are checking their watches (do people even have those anymore?) every half-hour or so to see the time drag closer as slowly as a one-legged zombie shuffle, they can take advantage of the FREE e-book download HERE and browse the following features (at least, you they if they have an i-Thingy of some kind. Kindle, GooglePlay and other differently platformed folk like myself will have to wait a little bit for a non-i-version to be released):
Download this interactive, multi-touch book, and let the NBC hit drama series Grimm come alive!• Learn about homicide detective Nick Burkhardt and the rest of the characters on Grimm.• Watch Season 1 and Season 2 recaps.• Browse through the journal passed down by Nick's family for generations of Grimms.• Get a 360-degree look inside Rosalee�s Exotic Tea & Spice Shop.• Navigate through the Creature Gallery and see the creepy transformations.• View and maneuver 3-D models used to design the mythical creatures.• See behind-the-scenes photos from the filming of Seasons 1 and 2.• Create your favorite creature, save it and/or submit it to NBC - we just might post it online or in a future edition of this book.• Test your Grimm trivia knowledge, get each episode and so much more! 
And if you already have the eBook, then what are you waiting for?!? Download the free revised edition now and get ready for Season 3 of Grimm!Note: This revised edition is also coming soon for Kindle Fire, Nook, Google Play, and Kobo but with limited features. Stay tuned!
I forgot to mention, too that the SECOND official Grimm magazine is now available for purchase as well. 

In the 1st one (which I admittedly bought late at a cheap resale price, just so I could keep up to date in case there was anything included on fairy tales from the cast and crew), I was pleasantly surprised to see a listing, origin and explanation of all the opening fairy tale quotes for each episode (jackpot!), as well as more discussion on fairy tales and favorite tales than I expected. 

I'm definitely curious about the second one now.

And I think today's season premiere means we've (finally) begun all the regularly scheduled fairy tale shows for the season. Hurrah!

Reminder: Hallmarks' Indiana-Jones-Meets-Warehouse13-Meets-Fairy-Tale-Family-Movie "The Hunters" airs TONIGHT

Press Release:
‘THE HUNTERS’       Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere“Walmart and P&G Present Walden Family Theater”Friday, October 25 (8p.m. ET/PT, 7C)Starring: Victor Garber, Michelle Forbes, Alexa Vega, Robbie Amell, Keenan Tracey and Dan Payne 
Two brothers learn that they come from a long line of Hunters, a secret society sworn to protect powerful fairy tale objects from falling into the wrong hands. When their Hunter parents go missing in their quest to retrieve the magical Mirror, the very same mirror that played a prominent role in the story of Snow White, the brothers realize they have to assume their birthright and find their parents and the Mirror, before it’s too late.
In an adaptation of Joshua Williamson’s comic book Mirror MirrorThe Hunters is part of Hallmark Channel’s new Friday night franchise Walden Family Theater presented in collaboration with Walmart, Procter & Gamble, award-winning family entertainment producer Walden Media (The Chronicles Of Narnia, Bridge To Terabithia, Holes) and fast-growing independent studio ARC Entertainment. Walden Family Theater is designed to further fill the void on TV for quality family entertainment.
Note: I think this will be one of those "spot the fairy tale reference movies" though the lesser known ones are unlikely to make appearances. Mostly I'm curious as to how the well known ones are "differently referenced". Eg from this interview HERE on the Hallmark site, the actress makes note of Cinderella's glass slipper having one of the shards of the Mirror (from Snow White) hidden on the bottom and that they must use a tooth of The Big Bad Wolf (from LRRH) to open a tomb.

It could be fun but I've been so disappointed by adaptations, I'm afraid to get my hopes up. And I really would have called it something different... Gosh I hope this screenplay is written (and acted) well!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

"Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" Set to Make Mini-Series Magic c/- the BBC

A seven-part series adaptation of the best selling fairy tale-ish novel is being developed for the BBC (squee!), the cast has just been announced and they're set to start filming in Yorkshire, Canada and Croatia next week!

 I love the way SFX UK added extra commentary in their announcement so I'll share that with you instead of the usual list:

Bertie Carvel
Eddie Marsan
 The BBC has confirmed recent rumours that Eddie Marsan (Snow White And The HuntsmanHancock and loads of much better non-SF stuff) will play Mr Norrell, and Bertie Carvel (SherlockLes Misérables) will play Jonathan Strange in their upcoming adaptation of Susanna Clarke’s best-selling alternate history novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.
Joining Marsan and Carvel in the seven-part adaptation are Alice Englert (the best thing inBeautiful Creatures), Marc Warren (Doctor Who’s “Love And Monsters”), Samuel West (Eternal Law, Van Helsing), Charlotte Riley (Wuthering Heights, Easy Virtue), Enzo Cilenti (Guardians Of The Galaxy, Kick-Ass 2) and Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones, Being Human).
And you have to love this tidbit from Bertie Carvel who will be playing Strange:
“I read the book some years ago and was totally enchanted. I’ve been casting spells for the part of Strange ever since. It is a considerable surprise to find that some of them worked!”
I'm going to choose lovely, magical coincidence over marketing genius with that line.

Susanna Clarke's award winning novel has had numerous people attempt to realize it in movie form since it hit the best seller list but it looks like this mini-series is definitely a "go" now and, let's be honest, if you're a fan of the book, you'd rather a miniseries than just a two hour long movie... wouldn't you? (Though movie paraphernalia tie-ins would be awesome..)

I'm just VERY curious to see how they manage the footnotes... (Oh please be clever about it!)

You'll be glad to know Toby Haynes - director of both Doctor Who AND Sherlock will be calling the shots. Should be a good 'un! (And I have hopes on the footnote front with him at the helm too.)

CW's Beauty & the Beast Flirts... No. Has "A Full On Date" With Domestic Violence (Yes, They Went There. No It Was Not A Good Thing.)

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

It's Season 2, Episode 3: Oh CW, what have you done?

While I'm one of those people who, perhaps too easily, sees more than a little Stockholm Syndrome in retellings of Beauty and the Beast (not so much the originals but many stories "after" it), but the places the CW's Beauty and the Beast has gone/is going, is... kinda a not-good thing.

OK. No "kinda". It's just not.

Quick summary after the jump to catch you up, in case you haven't seen the episode and don't care about spoilers.
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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hallmark's "The Hunters" Set To Air This Friday, Oct 25 (Wow, That Was Quick!)

Seriously. How long ago did I post an announcement on The Hunters? (Aka Warehouse 13 offspring go hunting fairy tale artifacts - and their parents?)

Answer: less than four months ago. From proposal to air date, that's REALLY quick! Whatever the case, Hallmark's production value is usually pretty good (though it's been a while since I've seen anything from them) and the writing is either very good or not really there at all. Here's hoping it's the former and that it was just a case of the project not being announced until a good script was squared away.

In case you missed the general premise (apart from the quick summary above) fairy tale people were real and they're "things" are "alive and well" - and powerful -  right here, right now. And there's a small group of people dedicated to keeping powerful fairy tale artifacts out of the hands of those who would use them for badness. Think "fairy tale Indiana Jones meets Warehouse 13. With kids." :)
Creating something with enough action and minimal violence to attract tweens, teens and adult audiences is a challenge within itself. The Hallmark Channel's original movie "The Hunters" meets that challenge and then some, providing a fun ride for both young and older viewers. 
"The Hunters," more about growing up with the appreciation of family more than it is jet setting across the globe in search of fairy tale-based artifacts. 
Emmy award nominee and veteran actor Victor Graber plays the former artifact hunter and protector who is hell-bent on using the magical properties of the items to gain power to rule the world. 
The main characters are the Flynn brothers who team up with their parent's assistant to go after shards of the magic mirror of "Snow White" fame in order to find and rescue their parent who went missing after complications on a recent mission.
... Based on the comic book "Mirror, Mirror" by Joshua Williamson, "The Hunters" is a fun, family film that will entertain children and their parents with an open ending leaving room for sequels in the future.  (Source)
You can read the rest of the article from someone who got a preview of the show (and liked it very much) HERE.

Oh and there's a trailer too:
Not quite sure what I think of this. The fairy tale aspects aren't greatly apparent here (apart from the Mirror) and I don't see much evidence of new spins on old tales like the panels included in the blog post HERE, featuring Red Riding Hood tale motifs in a snowy cemetery, but that doesn't mean they're not included. Guess I'll just have to watch. (The things I have to do... *long suffering sigh* lol).

There's an official page with cast interviews, photos and more HERE as well. I haven't seen any acknowledgment from the original author of the comic but maybe the airing snuck up on him too!

Princess Kaguya Preview Looks Like An Animated Picture Scroll. Also, Amazing.

I've seen quite a bit of excited reaction to the newly released preview of The Tale of Princess Kaguya today!

If you're a regular reader here, you'll know that this is Studio Ghibli's next fairy tale and a very important one, being the oldest recorded folktale for Japan (we're talking REALLY old, like 10th Century!).

I love the juxtaposition of the music against the images here, not to mention the raw feeling the images convey.

Take a look:
Although the publicity to date has been on the quiet side, perhaps with people wondering if the director, Isao Takahata, could pull off a fairy tale as beautifully as Miyazaki does (since Takahata is known more for using an off-beat and gritty approach than for pretty tales), fears and doubts are being put to rest with this preview.

I'm sensing very excited stirrings in the animation community too.

Takahata is using a very different technical approach as well, which no doubt will add much to the charm of the (re)telling of this tale, apart from being a different form of storytelling for big screen animation. The technique is called emakimono, which is a horizontal illustrated narrative (aka a picture scroll). Some believe emakimono to be the earliest form of Manga, as in, from the 11th century (!) which adds another layer of interest to the project. (Bet you never knew how far back Manga went! I certainly didn't.)

You can also see a little from behind-the-scenes, or "making of" in the video on this page HERE. If you're interested in animation or the tale it's worth taking a peek, as short as it is.

Kaguya-hime no Monogatari (The Tale of Princess Kaguya) is set to open in Japanese theaters on November 23rd, 2013. No word yet on when it will be distributed it in the US, though Disney have picked up the contract to do so. Hopefully we'll see it in time for the Xmas holiday period.

PS Aren't the horizontal layout posters beautiful? I had to include them all...

Oh look! I didn't even realize iO9 is raving all about this today!
Heh. Told you people were excited now. ;)
Check the happy-dancing at iO9 HERE.

* News Source: Crunchyroll

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Cinderella Super Spy Heads Up the Next Fairest Series "Of Men and Mice" & She Gets a Hardcover Too

Shawn McManus for Fairest Issue #22
If you have been even half-following the Fables news you will be aware that Cinderella is both super spy and Fables super-star, getting her own stand-alone volumes of secret super spy adventures so, being one of Fabletown's most popular ladies, it's no surprise she's getting her own series of issues in the Fairest spin-off as well.

Unlike the Fables comics, the Fairest series is a little more "fantastic", with more magical elements, so I'm curious to see what they do with the Bond girl (who is just as much "Bond" as "girl") of the fairy tale world, especially considering they're revisiting Cindy's original ball. Check the comic panels below for views of the fairy godmother activating Cindy's ride. (I'm guessing this section in the story is pre-recruitment into the intelligence community so... interesting!)

Here's one of the coolest things about the news. The title of the series is: Of Men and Mice (if you don't understand my happy face at this, read on...)

Here's the scoop from NY ComicCon, along with excerpts from an interview from newsarama:
During the Vertigo panel at this past weekend’s New York Comic Con, DC shared new art from the storyline, which kicks off in December with an assassination attempt on Snow White that ties into Cind's origin story at the midnight ball. She investigates in a world-spanning story that takes her from the world of the mundane to the Homelands. 
Nrama: Why do you think Cinderella has become such a fan-favorite character?
Andreyko: She's James Bond as a woman! Her tough-as-nails attitude and ability to do anything that must be done to succeed in her mission is something we rarely see in female characters.
Nrama: It looks like Cindi is returning to the scene of the fairytale ball, where she first met Prince Charming. How did the idea to return to that part of the character's history come about?
Andreyko: Well, the storyline has ties to that fateful night, so a look back, especially at things we haven't seen, is required, and fun.
Nrama: How does the story kick off? This assassination attempt — is it chronicled inFairest? Or is it something that happens in Fables? Anything you can tease about the set-up for the story?
Andreyko: This storyline dovetails into the next big Fables arc and has ramifications for all of Fabletown… beginning with the assassination attempt on one Snow White.
Nrama: Can you reveal anything about the meaning behind the title of this Fairest storyline, "Of Men and Mice?"
Andreyko: Mice play an important role in Cind's past, but what happened after the clock struck midnight?
(You can read the rest of the interview HERE.)

Plus we're going to see a new Fable, from Asia and he/she is blue...

All I can think of are genies right this second but I know they've been covered quite a bit in the Fables series already... AND the first Fairest issues featured a blue imp-like genie too.. hmm. Must brush up on the Asian folklore!

This Issue #22 of Fairest hits stores early in December.

Also recently announced was this special stand alone graphic novel (presented like 1001 Nights of Snowfall) and it, too, stars Cinderella, and is due to be available in late November in hardcover (a limited release to be certain, just like 1001 Nights Of Snowfall was.)

Apparently Fairest Issue #21 is a prequel to the hardcover, Fairest In All The Land (and likely Of Men and Mice as well) and is a self contained story (meaning it can be read out of sequence/by itself) starring Goldilocks. Curiouser and curiouser.. or is that just right? ;)
FAIREST: IN ALL THE LAND is a murder mystery as told by the Magic Mirror—starring Cinderella and featuring many fan favorite characters such as Snow White, Rose Red, Bigby Wolf, Briar Rose, Frau Totenkinder, Goldilocks and many more.

Red Riding Hood Revived, Reinvented, Reconsidered & All the Rage (A Lecture by Maria Tatar TOMORROW/Wed night)

Just a quick re-blog of Ms. Tatar's poster for her upcoming lecture tomorrow evening. I wasn't aware that Red Riding Hood was our current "it" girl (again) but Ms. Tatar is a pro at identifying and predicting trends in fairy tales so I'm curious as to why Red is in the spotlight. Wish I could go!

On Wishing For Children When Magic Is Around (& the Consequences Thereof)

Snow White's mother at the window by Charles Santore
Following on from last night's post on magically assisted conceptions and births (in which we discussed Frozen and Tatterhood) I wanted to share a page (available for viewing in preview mode online) from one of the books I've been coveting wishing I could afford for quite a while now.

This brief section covers Natal Mothers in fairy tales but also discusses the bargains these want-to-be-mothers make with whomever (or whatever) magical personage is about to hear their wishing (and sighing and pleading). Obviously, these women (usually it's a woman in fairy tales who wishes a child but there have ben want-to-be-fathers as well) are just too good a target for mischief by the magically enabled beings and the deal is rarely the sort of bargain the parent expected they'd agreed to. Unfortunately, the burden of the agreement - usually in the form of a curse or weird and/or inconvenient trait (from fast-growing hair to narcolepsy to being half-animal or extremely ugly or extremely stupid) - falls on, not the parent, but the child who is born under the effects (side effects?) of the "gift".* Poor kiddos! Makes for good stories though.

While the section isn't completely relevant to my post yesterday there's still so much interesting information, I thought anyone who was intrigued might like to read it for themselves.

Hans (my) hedgehog & his mother by Jessica Boehman
The book this excerpt is from is The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Folktales and Fairy Tales, edited by Donald Haase. There are currently three volumes, each of which sells for over $100. The e-book volume of 3 is around $300 (!!!! choke !!!!) and I'll be wanting the paperback/hardcover... O.o

One of the days I'll win the lottery find a way to get myself a copy of the volumes and finally feel like I'm better on the way to having a decent tale type research library.... (Just as soon as I get my own Aarne-Thompson copy, complete with supplementals for the folkloric sections of the world that were kind of skipped over as well...  And NO! I did NOT say I would give up my first born for these! Just to be absolutely clear to any mischievously magical onlookers..!)

* I should note here, that sometimes that curse is the simplest but worst ever in that the mother doesn't get to be with her child at all, and, like Snow White, the offspring is left motherless which is a very hard curse to rise above indeed.