A not-so-evil queen is terrified of her monstrous stepdaughter and determined to repel this creature and save her kingdom from a world where happy endings aren’t so happily ever after.
- Title: Snow, Glass, Apples
- Story and Words: Neil Gaiman
- Adaptation and Art: Colleen Doran
- Coloring Assistance: Val Trullinger
- Lettering: Todd Klein
- Cover Artist: Colleen Doran
- Publisher: Dark Horse Books
- ISBN: 1506709796
- Publication Date: August 20, 2019
- Content Warnings: rape, use of an anti-Roma slur
Snow, Glass, Apples is Colleen Doran’s stunning graphic novel adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s short story of the same name. Though I haven’t read the prose story yet, Doran’s brilliant storytelling skills are on bold display in this adaptation. Inspired by the Irish artist Harry Clarke, Doran’s typically illustrative style is far more elaborate in this lush and intricate retelling of the legend of Snow White. The innocent princess many of us know from childhood is a remorseless vampire in this story, and her stepmother, the “wicked” queen, is actually a kind, wise witch who tries (and fails) to protect her kingdom from the princess’s evil.
Told entirely from the queen’s perspective, the story explores questions of fate, the curse of hindsight, and the nature of stories themselves. Doran deftly changes technique as the narrative demands: to propel us toward the cruel ending we once believed to be a happy one, she uses straightforward, linear panels, and to plunge us deep into the queen’s mind, she uses fluid, sweeping layouts that show an incredible command of color and space. The rich, hypnotic patterns and sumptuously dark palette call to mind stories etched in stained glass. Doran’s work on this book is nothing short of masterful, and her stylistic choices are perfect for this chilly, bitter fairy tale about the truths that we think we know.
Absolutely brilliant. I give this book 5 out of 5 coffins.