Saturday, January 16, 2010
Rapunzel's Revenge by a heapa Hales
Popular YA writer Shannon Hale decided to turn her attention to sequential art by penning a script with her husband, Dean Hale, which was later drawn by Nathan Hale (no relation). The book did well enough to warrant a sequel (Calamity Jack, out this month).
I didn't have any clear expectations coming into this, but I was impressed immediately. For a lady with no known comics-writing experience, she's adept. She knew how to use the panels, everything was paced well, etc. (She talks about switching forms here, but I got bored and just barely finished the first paragraph.) So that's a good start. I don't know how much of this success can be attributed to Dean or Nathan, but Shannon's the famous one here and no doubt it was on the strength of her name that this project happened at all, so good job, Shannon.
And I love the concept. I love recreations of old tales, and Rapunzel as a fantasy western works well.
It's a superheroish power fantasy for girls with a bit of romance thrown in. Only --- since the girl's the hero, this time, she also gets to be the one dumb in love. Role reversals all around.
Now, they end gets a bit dicey with a handful of unearned outs, but overall, this is a great book and one I recommend checking out. It could be a good gateway work for younger kids --- especially girls? --- who haven't ever really tried comics on for size.
It's fun and harmless and nice to have around.