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Once Upon a Time Machine Paperback – October 23, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Originals (October 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616550406
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616550400
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.8 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #669,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

A panoply of creators retells fairy tales, folktales, and stories from classic literature, all with a sci-fi twist. Every tale, from John Henry in a space-pilot showdown to the Billy Goats Gruff told as a girl’s journey through the subterranean sewer beneath a futuristic metropolis to The Three Musketeers with Nigerian swordsmen fighting samurai robots, takes a familiar plot and casts it into an unfamiliar future. While the whole product is a mixed bag, with a few standouts like poignant re-imaginings of Pinocchio and the Puppet Show Man, a strong theme emerges in the aggregate—namely, how humanity interacts with technology, how we give it life, and what it does to our lives. With a few exceptions (including Jill Thompson, who provides a single-image, futuristic take on Santa Claus), these are not big-name creators, and, while the tone ranges from humor to action to heartfelt drama, manga is a fair-sized influence in style and content. With a large array of stories, though, this will provide hours of opportunity for dipping into the future. --Jesse Karp

Review

"It's a giant book stuffed to bursting with great stories told with truly unique characters, based on classic fables. Every piece presented here is a quality piece of work and will provide hours of whimsical, light hearted reading." -Talking Comics

"It's a volume that adults and children will greatly enjoy, with clever, insightful, and witty tales abounding on every page...Highly recommended." -SFRevu

"You may not be completely sold on one story, but you turn the page and there is one that completely blows you away. No matter your tastes, there's something for you in this. I cannot recommend this highly enough and give it a 5/5 because that is as high as it goes." -Comic Book Therapy

"Time Machine examines knotty, dark issues -- death, loss, alienation -- but, as with the original stories, there are lessons to be learned. With its wealth of humor, playfulness and gorgeous illustration, it's completely kid-safe, but grandma will surely get a kick out of it, too." -Philadelphia City Paper

"This is a gorgeous, GORGEOUS presentation. Clocking in at over 400 pages, this book is the type of thing I absolutely adore; beautifully crafted genre stories that take full advantage of the medium of comics." -CHUD.com

Customer Reviews

The stories are great and the art work is even better!
SamMie
What is most interesting is how some of the tales are transformed.
Christine N. Ethier
When I pick up a hard copy, I will be sure to read them first!
bookworm1858

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Christine N. Ethier on October 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
Disclaimer: Copy recieved via Netgalley.

Once Upon a Time Machine is what all good retellings of beloved tales should be. The basic premise is a series of tales transported to Sci-Fi settings that, in part, ensure employment of a comics department in a large corporation. Perhaps a comment on today's publishing world? If so, it seems to be an accurate one.

And you can believe it.

The various stories used include American folklore such as John Henry, Aesop, Asian tales such as "The Peach Pit Boy", European fairy tales such as "Billy Goats Gruff" and classic literature such as the works of Dumas. It works. It works brilliantly and is not a copy of Fables.
In short, the only thing setting this collection of retellings from those short stories collections edited by Datlow and Windling is the medium used.
Each story is retold using a different style, and between the stories is artwork depicting scenes from other tales. While the settings are in the future, they range from spaceships to bio-domes and a future Nigeria. If you are a parent or a librarian looking for something depicting more than just white men, this collection more than fulfills that demand.

The collection starts very strong with a retelling of the American legend of John Henry. John Henry is a folk hero who does not get the attention he deserves, at least currently, and it is a joy to see him in a beautiful and powerful retelling. The framing device used in the tale works perfectly, and this is one of those comic stories that transcend comics. The power and pathos of the John Henry story is more than equaled by tales such as "Pinocchio or the Stars are Not Wanted Now", "The Five Chinese Brothers", and "The Last Leaf", a retelling of an O. Henry story .
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Love to Read on October 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
ONCE UPON A TIME MACHINE met and exceeded my expectations. The book looks great, the content is fresh, and most of all everyone loves (and grew up with) fairy tales. This collection should be in every library -- personal and public. Congratulations to the editors Andrew Carl and Chris Stevens and to all of the contributors. Watch the great trailer and you'll be sold.... [...] Now go order it!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By deanW on October 18, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The art in this book is amazing. One of my favorite pages was done by Dave Proch, the detail is just unreal. I truly believe he is one to look out for and this book will become a modern classic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By candopolis on October 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is a brilliant recreation of tales. It is the result of a collaboration of creative artists, including David Proch and Rob Woods, which inspires all people to dream and revel in imagination. I first bought this book for my brother, who loves to draw, on his birthday but ended up keeping it and buying another. Great for all ages really.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bookworm1858 VINE VOICE on November 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
The blurb promised a collection of 24 tales twisting and playing with beloved fairy tales. However I did not realize that it would actually be retellings of familiar stories. I just thought they would be fantastical and fairy-tale-esque. But no, I recognized most of the stories, which allowed me to seat back and enjoy the beautiful drawings and the science-fiction twists placed on most of them.

I'm not going to cover every story as that would take a really long time but I do have four that really worked for me, style of art combining with the story to resonate deeply.

First up would be "Pinocchio or The Stars Are Not Wanted Now" written by Jason Rodriguez , where an inventor makes his creation who struggles with the dual competing directives of being honest and being human. I wasn't entirely sure how this one was going to turn out but it was a bittersweet yet appropriate resolution to me.

Next would be "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi", based on that great Kipling story and written by Mike Exner III. I was already a fan and immediately perked up when I saw the title. I also really loved the artwork for this one-I have no idea how to describe it but it fits with my preferences.

Next is "The Five Chinese Brothers" from Justin Hughes, another familiar story that similarly to the Pinocchio one was bittersweet. I believe I am familiar with the story it is based on although I cannot remember what it is called. This story also has an inventor father and his mechanical sons in addition to one flesh and blood one, utilizing the science-fiction aspect well.

The last one I want to mention is "Hansel and Gretel or Bombus and Vespula" by Josh O'Neill. Unfortunately I can't tell you my favorite part of this story as it is the twist within-definitely worth seeking out!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Whoadini on October 31, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's interesting. In all honesty, I would never pick up a comic book, or graphic novel, or even a manga as recreational reading. They aren't my kind of thing. I ordered this book to support a very good friend of mine, with little intention to read all of the stories, and I haven't. Perhaps it's just the way my brain works, but I, generally, find this type of book hard to read. However, that doesn't seem to be the case with Once Upon A Time Machine. I haven't read through every tale, but I definitely will now. The stories are beautifully re-imagined versions of fables and fairy tales I already knew, and they've inspired me to revisit those tales of old.

Of the stories I've read so far, some are better told than others, but overall they are easy to read and provocative enough to motivate me to turn the page. I'll also have to say, the book itself is edited and organized wonderfully. Again, I haven't gotten through the whole book, but, at least in the beginning, everything seems to be in its rightful place. There's a rhythm to the book that also lends itself to making Once Upon A Time Machine an easy read. Yet, each story has a distinctive voice and mood that allows it to stand alone. And for those who don't read or are lazy, the illustrations alone are diverse and intriguing enough to warrant more than a quick glance.

Again, some stories and illustrations are better than others, but Once Upon A Time Machine, in it's totality, is easily a great buy. Whether you're an avid reader of this genre of literature, someone who's just getting into it, or someone who just wants to impress their friends and colleagues with how diverse their library is (and there are plenty of those), I highly recommend buying this book. I know I'm very glad I bought it. I think I need to go out and buy Aesop's Fables and Grimm's Fairytales so I can have a complete collection of stories to read to my children.
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