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Castle Waiting Hardcover – June 17, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. A set of linked nouveaux fairy tales, this graphic novel extends the story of Sleeping Beauty into a modern, feminist Chaucer for happy people. After Sleeping Beauty leaves with the prince, the three ladies in waiting, Patience, Prudence and Plenty, stay on in the castle, a hobgoblin-infested structure that becomes a refuge for those in need: a pregnant woman fleeing her abusive husband; Sir Destrier, a horse-headed knight who wants a place to rest between adventures; Beakie, a kindly bachelor merchant; and Sister Peace, a bearded nun. The ladies do things like dye their hair red with henna, but mostly they tell stories of their lives. The art is full of humor; we know each character as soon as we see them. The faces are particularly expressive. The stories of the bearded nuns go on a mite too long, but there's still plenty of humor in their invention of a whole order of nuns dedicated to showing up the idiocies of men. Medley's art is both exquisitely detailed and fantastically lighthearted. Though appropriate for all ages, this one-of-a-kind graphic novel is likely to appeal most to smart women in their 20s and older—much older—and to any man who believes in feminism and knows how to laugh. (May)
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From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–With its quiet blend of fantasy, folktales, and character-driven storytelling, this charming collection brings the first 12 issues of an Eisner Award-winning comic-book series to a wider audience. It opens with The Brambly Hedge, which gives the origin of the castle itself. In a comic retelling of Sleeping Beauty, a medieval castle and its loving inhabitants are abandoned when the princess wakes up, finds her Prince Charming, and rides off into the sunset with him. The castle transforms into an outpost of sorts for the unusual, the unwanted, and those just needing a place to hide from the world. Talking chivalrous horses, pregnant mothers on the run, and nuns who were once bearded ladies in the circus are just a few of the colorful inhabitants whose stories fill the remainder of the volume. Medleys storytelling becomes more assured and complex as the series progresses, and she uses flashbacks and stories-within-stories in a manner that creates a rhythm that is both fun and gripping. Hard-edged lines with simple forms create black-and-white artwork that melds nicely with the fairy-tale feel of the stories. This volume is accessible for younger readers but filled with enough layers and depth to satisfy those looking for a bit more sophistication.–Matthew L. Moffett, Fords Theatre Society, Washington, DC
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics; 1 edition (June 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560977477
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560977476
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.5 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #319,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Linda Medley, Castle Waiting (Fantagraphics, 2006)

After I finished reading Castle Waiting, I went online and frantically looked for any evidence that there would eventually be a volume 2. If you take this as a stand-alone book, the ending is the very definition of "unsatisfactory"-- a vast number of questions are left unanswered, complex plots just beginning to tie themselves together, a host of characters whose richness and depth has yet to be explored. As the beginning of a sweeping epic, on the other hand, this is just the ticket, and Castle Waiting promises to be the graphic novel answer to the huge, literate fantasy series that have been taking readers by storm recently.

Castle Waiting is the tale of, not surprisingly, a castle, and the host of odd characters who inhabit it. I can't think of a way to even begin explaining the plot of this, as just about anything I could say would constitute some spoiler or another about one or more of the characters, and the characters are what drive this narrative. Perhaps it's more appropriate to say that, while there is a plot to this (in fact, a pretty good number of plots, subplots, etc.), all of them live in the service of letting us get to know Medley's unforgettable collection of characters. The first half of the book gives us an overview of the entire cast; the second focuses on the story of Sister Peace, one of the castle's inhabitants, and how she came to reside there. Medley's motley crew are the finest bunch of malcontents, mysteries, and muddlers I've come across since discovering the wonderful world of Bone, and now that I've read the first book, I'm champing at the bit for the rest of the tale. (The fact that it took medley ten years to draw this one has done nothing to curtail the current erosion of my tooth enamel.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
Okay, this is the third edition of this book, published 2 months ago...AND IT'S NOT AVAILABLE!!! WHY???
This is a rare gem of a book. "Castle Waiting" is one of the best comic books (okay, "drawn books") ever. The characterization is fantastic. Linda Medley's drawing style is charming yet oddly realistic (her people look like people, not like how-people-should-look). Her focus on the "lesser" characters is interesting and long-overdue. Her fairness in terms of gender is refreshing. This retelling of "Sleeping Beauty" is riotous at times, touching at others.
Another reviewer mentioned her wonderful resource for children at the end. EARTH TO PARENTS! LINDA MEDLEY CARES WHAT YOUR CHILDREN READ! THIS ARTIST HAS WONDERFUL SUGGESTIONS FOR DEVELOPING YOUR CHILD'S MIND!!! Worth the price of admission right there. No, really - she has put her heart and soul into making this book as helpful and well-rounded as possible, in addition to being a great read.
I am constantly buying copies of "Lucky Road" for new moms. I've found that new mothers respond really well to the story of Jain and Pindar, and it's nice to have a different kind of storybook to put in a child's (or adult's!) library. I've been trying to get my hands on more copies of Brambly Hedge ('cause I'm not giving up my copy) to give to these same women and kids. It's very hard! It's really, REALLY unfair when all sorts of dreck gets offered through book sites and the good stuff isn't available.
I know Linda Medley is having trouble getting the monthly comic book out (at least, as per the last issue of CW). Go pick up "Lucky Road", go visit your local comics shop and buy them out of CW, ask your local bookstore to carry it, anything. Anything to keep her writing, anything to keep these books coming out. Few titles are this worthwhile. Really.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. Aumiller on February 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Linda Medley's Castle Waiting series is one of the most best and underappreciated comic series of all time. This volume begins with the story called the Curse of Brambley Hedge, the prequel to the Castle Waiting Series, which puts a clever twist on the story of Sleeping Beauty and does a great job of setting up the main series. The first story arc concerns the flight of a young pregnant woman (Jain) from her abusive husband. She finds refuge in Castle Waiting, a magical castle inhabited by unique characters from various fairy tales. In this first story arc the gang has many zany adventures from escaping bandits on the road to a dangerous experiment with hair dye. The second story arc takes place in two different settings. While most of the gang is fixing the roof, Jain and Sister Peace are inside. Jain asks Sister Peace about her past and the telling of that tale makes up the majority of this arc. Castle Waiting is such a great series, and I'm so glad that Linda Medley has been picked up by a new company and is back at work on the series! Look for the arc three issues to start coming out soon!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By tulyar, a drawn books fan and librarian on February 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
Linda Medley is a storyteller supreme. And her story re-telling is pretty darn impressive, too. The Curse of Brambly Hedge is Medley's take on the old story of Briar Rose (Which is, of course, very similar to the story so many of us know as "Sleeping Beauty".). Medley's dialogue and art are flexible and expressive and the story fairly leaps off the page. But what makes this book in this edition so priceless is the huge appendix at the end. Aimed at younger readers and drawn book newbies, she provides character drawings with instructions to experiment with coloring their costumes, a step-by-step guide to creating a character of your own, two guided exercises for creating your own story, helpful instructions on how to read pictures (e.g., what various lines around characters can mean and what the different dialogue bubbles signify), suggestions for classic stories to retell, a bibliography of such stories, and, finally, a list of resources for parents focussed on reading and stories. All that in 75 pages and for $9. This is an excellent place for anyone to start reading drawn books and the "Reading Pictures" is perfect for the person who wants to learn more about the medium by doesn't have time to digest Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics.
By the way, "drawn books" is Medley's term for what we normally call "comic books" or "graphic novels". I think this is a more accurate description, so I've adopted it.
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