Once Upon a Webcomic: Dinosaur Comics Fairy Tales

Since last week’s post on XKCD fairy tales was so popular and many of my favorite webcomics have referenced fairy tales in the past, I decided to start a new recurring feature called Once Upon a Webcomic.  My second webcomic post centers around another of my favorites: “Dinosaur Comics” or “Qwantz” by Ryan North.

Although Dinosaur Comics has referenced fairy tales on a number of hilarious occasions, the following comic is my favorite example of this.

As you can see, this comic takes a humorous poke at fairy tale retellings.  While many of them are interesting and inventive, some do seem a little silly.  For instance, take a look at the plot of Disney’s upcoming film, “Snow White and the Seven“; if Snow White is a British woman in China in the 1800s and the dwarves are actually not dwarves but international warriors teaching her how to fight, is it really even the same story?  Sure, the concept sounds pretty cool, but at what point does it begin to distract from the actual story and become a little pointless?

I can’t help but feel the same about Maureen McGowan’s new books “Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer” and “Cinderella: Ninja Warrior.” I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and read them on the off chance that they may actually be cool and funny mash-ups, but frankly they sound a little ridiculous.  Hopefully, that’s intentional.

When retelling fairy tales, it can be easy to get caught up in trying to make everything “totally sweet” and forget about what you were actually trying to do in the first place; breathe life back into an old story.  Of course, that doesn’t mean space travel and fairy tales should never mix; in her book of short fairy tale retellings “Red as Blood,” Tanith Lee masterfully reconciles these genres in “Beauty,” a futuristic retelling of “Beauty and the Beast.”

To see some other fairy tale references in Dinosaur Comics, check out the comics from November 20, 2003 and May 31, 2006.

The Year of Snow White: 2012-2013

There’s quite a buzz on the web about not one or two, but three upcoming Snow White film projects. Here’s a quick scoop on all three, along with my initial responses to what we know so far.

“Snow White and the Huntsman” – Universal 2012

What we know: This story is going to center around the often overlooked huntsman character, rumored to  be played by Viggo Mortensen.  There’s also talk of Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen and Kristen Stewart as Snow herself.

My response: One thing I truly love about this film is the concept; I find it irresistible when retellings focus on characters that were largely ignored or vilified in the original stories.  I am also excited to see Viggo Mortensen’s name associated with the movie.  Whatever the role, I know he will do it justice.  I am, however, a little skeptical about Kristen Stewart as Snow White.  True, this film would place her in a supporting role, but I have yet to be convinced that she has more than one facial expression.  Everything else about the project sounds great, though, so I hope she proves me wrong.

“The Brothers Grimm: Snow White” – Relativity 2012

What we know: This version of Snow White is set to include Julia Roberts in the Evil Queen role.   It is also rumored to be the darkest and edgiest of the three upcoming films, with the seven dwarves depicted as thieves.

My response: Talk of a dark, edgy fairy tale retelling always brings a smile to my face.  I’m not particularly familiar with the director (Tarsem Singh) but a quick internet search assured me that he has a real knack for beautiful yet unnerving imagery (See photo below.), which is what I think every dark fairy tale needs.  I have no complaints about Julia Roberts.  In fact, I’m excited to see her tackle a darker role.  I am a little unclear on the title; is this supposed to be associated in some way with 2005’s “The Brothers Grimm“?  Either way, let’s hope this movie is just as awesome as it sounds.

Tarsem Singh’s “The Fall”

 

“Snow White and the Seven” – Disney 2013

What we know: In this version, the seven are not dwarves; they’re a band of traveling warriors from various cultures.  When Snow White (an English woman in China in the 1800s) meets them, they teach her their martial arts skills.  Natalie Portman is rumored to be involved, but this is nowhere near confirmed.

My response: This retelling sounds inventive and original, at least, but it sounds so different that it may not be recognizable.  Of course, if the talented Natalie Portman really is involved, it’s bound to be awesome.  Not to mention, the martial arts should at least be fun to watch.

Those are my thoughts on the films, but what do you think?  Take this poll and let me know which Snow White project you’re most looking forward to!

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