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Once Upon a Time Machine Paperback – October 23, 2012
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Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
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"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
Top Customer Reviews
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 .Read more ›
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!Read more ›
Who could ask for anything more?
A lot of imagination and time went into these.
I saw on a torrenting site where someone affiliated with making this posted a comment basically saying "Go ahead and download this, but if you like it please buy it!"...
I downloaded it. Loved it. Purchased it on Amazon for $11 and I can honestly say that I'd readily pay 3 times that for this collection.
I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do. :D
But they did! I zoomed through the 400+ pages of AMAZING illustrations and FANTASTIC fable twists. It took a creative bunch of people to come up with such different perspectives on such old fables.
I can't tell you how impressed I was with the presentation of these stories. Just as the synopsis stated this comic is for both young and old. There is nothing particularly disturbing drawn so parents should have no problem with youngins picking it up, but there's enough meat in the story that older readers will find enjoyment just as readily.
Every fable rewritten is set to take place in the future. Very futuristic settings, very tremendously imaginative landscapes and backgrounds for the stories that most of us already know by heart. It gives you an idea of how strong a fable/legend is, how long lasting, how powerful it is even in its age. These are stories that are known throughout the world and ones that will probably not soon be forgotten. "Once Upon a Time Machine" seems to be a guesstimate of just how strong and timeless these stories really are.
I have to tell you my favorite story and my favorite depiction. My favorite story in the bunch was "Rikki Tikki Tavi" (I watched that movie over and over and over again as a little girl) and my favorite depiction was "Little Red Riding Hood.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautifully illustrated stories, especially like the pictures by jim gier.Published 22 months ago by Kathryn Emerson
I had to buy this for my art history of comics book. There were only some of the comics which i was a fan of but i feel like this all depends on the buyer. Read morePublished on April 3, 2013 by punkrock61832
This book was a huge labor od love and I am so happy to see it come to fruition and published by such a comic book powerhouse like Dark Horse.Published on February 11, 2013 by Frankie B
This project, one that came to fruition because of the extraordinary level of skill and dedication on the part of its contributors, truly 'breathes' on its own; the work is alive,... Read morePublished on January 8, 2013 by Ryan J. Ortega
To re-imagine fairy tales in comic form is a great concept and this compilation is wonderfully executed--both in words and visuals. Read morePublished on January 7, 2013 by B Apple Sullivan
I read half this before I wrapped it for Christmas. Some very nice stories in this volume. I like the multitude of countries and ethnicities involved.Published on December 28, 2012 by D. L. Cillo
This was a beautiful accomplishment! The writers and artists created a wonderful retelling of traditional fairy tales and folklore in sci-fi and fantasy settings. Read morePublished on November 16, 2012 by pariahstudio
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. Read morePublished on October 31, 2012 by Whoadini