Cover Image: The Nixie of the Mill-Pond and Other European Stories

The Nixie of the Mill-Pond and Other European Stories

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As someone who loves graphic novels--especially in this style--this one just missed the mark. I constantly found myself looking back a few frames because I thought I missed certain details that weren't even there to begin with. The whole thing just fell short. This is a collection of European fairy tales with some lesser known ones thrown in the mix. There's humor, horror, fantasy, love, and a whole lot of mischief in these pages. It had a lot of potential and a fairly cool story-idea, but I felt that it wobbled hard on the execution. It's basically just a bunch of web comics which in retrospect can be pretty convenient to have all in one place but something about it didn't work for me.

BIG SIGH
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I'm a sucker for folklore and mythology as well as graphic novels, so I absolutely loved this book. The artists style wasn't my exact favorite, but it was still beautiful none-the-less. Thank you!
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This book was not quite what I was expecting when I opened it - but I was actually pleasantly surprised - to find a collection of classic stories, familiar folk tales or fairy tales like Rapunzel, Puss in Boots, and many more, all retold in comic or graphic novel form, and each in totally different styles as each was illustrated and written by different authors. 
So you will find manga inspired drawings, cartoony panels, and gorgeous printed illustrations all in the same book. 
Very unusual!! I hadn't been expecting a comic/graphic novel book!
I would suggest that the book is aimed at fairly mature teens/YA to adults - given some of the dark content. These aren't the Disney versions of the stories! 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for letting me access an advance digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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This anthology was a nice surprise! I really liked how some of the tales changed and become a different story, although others, like Rapunzel and (favorite of mine) Hamelin’s Piper, didn't have much news. Of the nine stories included, the four from Germany are the darkest ones, and of course I love them the most.
Full review: https://tintanocturna.blogspot.com/2020/07/comic-nixie-of-mill-pond-and-other.html
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This comics collection had ups and downs for me, some tales had great art, while some had art I wasn't impressed with. I think this may vary from reader to reader according to which kind of comic book art they like.

My favorite tales were Puss in Boots, Tatterhood, Kid Brother, The Nixie of the Mill-Pond, and Hamelin's Piper.

In any case, this "Cautionary Fables and Fairy-Tales" comics series is a very interesting way of presenting fairy tales, therefore I might read the other volumes in this series since this volume was quite promising.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Iron Circus Comics for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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For one thing: The cover is INCREDIBLE. It's spooky yet detailed and grabs all of my attention.

I absolutely love fairy tales, so seeing them in graphic novel form is an absolute delight. I was more than thrilled to be able to pick this book up because it's just fun seeing different authors and illustrators ways of recreating fairy tales. Plus, I grew up pretty heavily on fairy tales so it's like a blast to the past for me. To add to this awesome sauce, this collection includes fairy tales from various European countries (and I haven't heard of some of these before so this is wicked cool!).

Included in this collection are (with my star rating, of course):
1. Jack and the Beanstalk - "I SMELL THE BLOOD OF AN ENGLISHMAN" - 3 stars

2. The Singing Bone - - 4 stars. I had never heard of this story before, so that was wildly amusing!

3. Puss in Boots - "Oh great, a weirdo that puts clothes on his pets." - 5 stars. This was always one of my favourite fairy tales.

4. Tatterhood - 4 stars. Yet another I hadn't heard of before!

5. Rapunzel - 5 stars.

6. Kid Brother -3 stars.

7. The Nixie of the Mill Pond - 4 stars.

8. Bisclavret - 2 stars.

9. Hamelin's Piper - 3 stars.

The illustrations are very much comic book and 90s after school cartoon inspired and I am digging it! It made these stories more fun for me.

These include some of the lighter tales, but also some of the darker. I think YA and up would be the general age group for these stories (but hey, middle graders have seen a lot worse too).

Four out of wild boar five stars!

Thank you to NetGalley and Iron Circus Comics for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.
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This graphic novel depicts fairy tales, some I had heard before and most I had not. Because of this, I can't really speak to the originality of the content, although there didn't seem to be anything radically unique to me (Rapunzel and Jack and the Beanstalk were exactly the same as they normally are). Graphic novels are already hard to connect to since they are so short (usually they take several volumes for the reader to start to care about the characters and story), so having short stories in graphic novel form is incredibly difficult to pull off. Unfortunately, this book didn't really manage it either. The dialogue was flat and the characters were static.

The art style was inconsistent throughout, and some stories were much better illustrated than others; it was a bit jarring going from one story to the next. The font in the speech bubbles changed from comic sans to handwritten and everything in between, making the transition even rougher. One of the stories did not have any text (and I couldn't tell if this was intentional or not). I hope this underwent some edits for consistency before it was published.

Some of the stories were charming and extremely well-illustrated, but overall I was pretty disenchanted.
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** spoiler alert ** Normally I am up for all types of folklore but upon actually reading the Table of Contents I found myself disappointed for instead of being folklore these are actually fairytales. Now don't get me wrong I love my fairytales so I chose to continue and explore the book as such but found myself wanting to quit within the first story.

Due to the authors and artists are all different there aren't many similarities to compare with in the stories besides they all come from the same continent. Some stories are put in a more historical background and there are some that are in more modern background. Some have really well-done illustrations and some are cringe-worthy to say the least.

As to the different stories here are my thoughts:
✰✰Jack & the Bean Stalk
jack is portrayed at quite a younger age than he normally is shown in stories and is shown more like an anime-type or video game styled character. I loved the way the bean stalk was portrayed quite differently than in many normal versions and found it interesting how they got rid of the giant instead of the usual ax. What agitated me with this variation was the fact he told the harp that she thought her music was good and then turned around a few spots later while telling her almost hypocritically that even with her music being bad people would come to see her. So is he really saying he didn't like her music and took her for a novelty item to be manipulated to make them even more money?

✰The Singing Bone
This is the one that really agitated me so much just due to the style of the characters. Their forms, their facial features and even their mannerisms all reminded me so much of the cartoons that I loathed as a child and adult. The story implied early on that the prizes could have been shared, which is disturbing in its own right, especially as you find out the princess isn't the same creature as the main characters were. The only one that was slightly cute was the strange fox skipping around playing the bone before it started singing and then after the bone it just fell off the cute wagon.

✰✰✰Puss In Boots
This was one of the better stories in the book and did explore a different than usual ending as well as beginning. Instead of the two older brothers joining together, the eldest drives out both brothers to seek their fortune including the youngest who just wants to work in the mill. Puss in this version becomes a manipulative status-climber who ignores the desires of his master until his fateful run-in with the ogre. Loved how this one ended - so creative, so possibly pervie and yet surprising.

✰✰Tatterhood
I don't remember having heard of this particular tale but it works off the concept of their being one bad twin and one good twin so as a result the stereotypes for that concept is all played out in the stories. Their queen's hand-wringing and the awful characterization drawings of a few characters bothered me a bit but the story is cute while the calf reminds me of the Christmas calf Annabelle. What makes the story a bit off was the fact they went to the secret troll village but if it was so secret then how did they know how to get there? The end is a bit more of a girl empowerment-type ending to help continue on the message of redemption for Tatterhood as her sister is given no name.

✰✰✰Rapunzel
This was one of the few stories that had little or no writing to it and so the story was mostly told through the details. What stood out to me was the fact that it seemed a bit of a mix of the original fairytale that we all know mixed with Disney's "Tangled". Unlike either of those types of stories the story is really abbreviated by starting off in what would be the middle and seemingly also ending in the middle as well while giving this tale a particularly dark ending.

✰✰Kid Brother
Yet another story I hadn't heard of but it does in a sense almost resembles the Seven Swans. The kid brother makes for a spirited but very cute goat. The pictures were really detailed and there was lots of words, which made it hard to read on my digital reader as it doesn't like to enlarge reading material. The illustrations were quite realistic but in some cases there was so much going on it was quite hard to distinguish the differences, especially with all the talking housewares. And I am still trying to figure out the ending for why would the story's events have any say on whether they may have kids or not?

✰The Nixie of the Mill Pond
I hadn't heard of the Nixie before but she can basically be replaced with almost any story that has some type of fae creature that sneakily encourages a brash promise by the protagonist and as such is quite common. In this case I found that the Nixie was rather hard to place gender-wise for she truly resembled Marilyn Manson but other female characters also seemed to have a hint of the more masculine look than feminine. The story wasn't bad but it wasn't good and the whole ending just leaves the reading hanging since there is no explanation about the end illustration.

✰✰✰✰Bisclavret
Although not hearing of this particular tale there are enough similar stories that it wasn't too strange for me. I love the portrayal of Bisclavret and the way the human characters were portrayed except the annoying nose of Lady Bisclavret. Not much words were used but the details and the placing of the words made this a delicious story to enjoy even though it did turn quite gruesome in the end.

✰✰✰✰Hamelin's Piper
This was the only story that had no writing in it and even where their would have been writing in the village it looked like runes were used instead. Since of the lack of writing the story's illustrations were quite graphic while emphasizing just how bad the rats actually were by using details such as a rat attacking a cat, bold rats everywhere and what looks like a man impaling a rat using a pitchfork in the meeting. The story from there progresses basically as almost every other version that is mostly know to readers but changes slightly in the end with the way the parents are stopped from saving their children and their joyful comparison even as they meet their end is a stark contrast against the terror and shock of the adults of the town.

Although I would have loved to have seen some of these done in color I am not sure if that is the plan for the end work. All in all, though, even if some of the stories are more creatively done I couldn't find it in my heart to recommend these makeovers to other fairytale fans for they will surely be disappointed in the whole collection when compared to better works that have made their own take on the same types of stories.

**Please note I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review**
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I cut my teeth on Grimm's Fairy Tales so I was excited to read The Nixie of the Mill -Pond and Other European Stories. I love folklore and fairytales. I actually didn't realize (my fault for not paying attention) that it was a graphic comic. 

The stories contained within are:
Jack and the Beanstalk - Mary Cagle
The Singing Bone - K. C. Green
Puss in Boots - Kate Ashwin
Tatterhood - Kate and Shaggy Shanahan
Rapunzel - Ovens
Kid Brother - Carla Speed McNeil
The Nixie of the Mill Pond - Cory McNeil
Bisclavret - Kel McDonald
Hamelin's Piper - Jose Pimentia

Some old favorites and some unknown to me. I liked that the art was varied as well as the tone of the writing. While they are all pretty age appropriate, there are some darker moments. I found the collection inconsistant as I really liked some stories/art and didn't like others. All in all, I can see this being a great introduction for middle graders to some different twists on fairytales.
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I loved this volume. Reading different fairy tales from other countries has always been interesting to me. I would recommend this volume for others who do as well.
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I loved this graphic novel collection with its combination of stories and styles. The editors have assembled what could be enjoyed as reading material while also serving as a mentor text for others who want to explore what a graphic novel can do. Lovely and artistic work!
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I enjoy reading comics about different stories. Some like "Jack and the Beanstalk" are familiar with new twists and insights into subjects. I wasn't really sure how to view the characters in that story, they kind of seesaw in terms of being likable. Which is actually kind of nice. Others are my first look like "Kid Brother". Ones where I still have trouble trying to figure out what goes behind them. Yet it's the artists and how they present stories that make them so powerful. Some can have no dialogue to evoke the musical tone of The Hamelin Piper. You really have to give the creators credit on how they present themselves.
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I’m a bit surprised to find this labeled as middle grade.  It’s very dark and subversive and it might be too old for middle graders.  As an adult, I’m very much enjoying this but it reminds me of those dark cartoons from the 90s.  All the artwork is black and white, I’m not sure if the finished copy will have colour but I hope not because the black and white works extremely well for these stories.  Like any compilation, not very story is a hit but overall, it’s a good anthology of creepy fairy tales.  I learned a few I wasn’t aware of before.
ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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This is a collection o European stories that contain some stories you know and some you don't. Each story has it's own look and tone. So the book is a fun adventure and educational.
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Overall a pretty nice book for tweens and up!
Lovely book illustrates some known and some unknown fairy tales!This book is a collection of 9 folk tales.
There were some stories in this I had not heard of.
4/5 stars!
Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for providing me with an e-ARC of this book.🙂
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This graphic novel was so fun! It honestly gave me some of the vibes that I get from Into the Woods and that’s my jam. I loved that there were different authors and artists but that the whole piece had seemed work together. I though the reimagining were fun and that each artist brought something unique to the piece. Some of my favorite art was in Rapunzel and in the title story and my favorite character is by far Tatterhood. Overall, I’d love to see more graphic novels like this one, as well as more from each of these authors and artists!
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This was a super fun graphic novel that showed a variety of traditional European stories in a short comic format. Since it was strictly European there was a good amount I had never heard of, so it was super fun for me to read those. These comics are all so fun and gorgeously drawn. I think it's a fun read for people of all ages.
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Many thanks to #NetGalley for the ARC of ‘The Nixie of the Mill Pond and Other European Stories’ edited by Kel McDonald & Kate Ashwin in exchange for an honest review.

    This is an interesting and fun retelling of nine fairy tales for middle elementary students up.  Many of the fairy tales are familiar to many of us, there are a few lesser known tales mixed into the volume.  An entertaining read overall.  The artwork is lovely.
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After volumes concerning Africa and Asia we finally hit the motherlode of folk-tales, and Europe, in what was my first evidence of this series of freshened-up-for-da-youths comic versions of the classics.  We start with Jack and the Giant Beanstalk, which is OK, but for its cheesily childish visual style, and deviations from the routine telling of the tale, that don't add much.  The Singing Bone is apparently an Italian legend showing what happens when two people want the same thing, when a pair of prizes on offer for killing a rampant wild boar cause conflict in two rabbits.  Bizarrely the moral suggests the prizes, including the princess, could have been shared, in what is a rare instance of comic books for this audience suggesting that you, as a princess prize for some questing character, should be at liberty to shag around and get swapped if it's a tie.

After that a flippant look at Puss in Boots provides for a satisfying and enjoyable ending, if a fair bit too much before then rankled.  Tatterhood, one of the lesser-known works here as it's from Norway, has a pair of chalk and cheese twins, a troll invasion and some head-swapping.  Rapunzel gets about the worst telling of it the world has ever known.  Even less known, something Russian, is about the worst telling of anything anywhere – by the time Baba Yaga got involved with the young bride and her princely husband and her brother who was now a kid goat, I'd lost both the will to live and the ability to tell what was going on in the illustrations.  I had a vague recognition of the title story, with the miller forced to protect his first-born son from a promise made, and this was done with a lot more class than the average here – not afraid to give a narrative voice-over, providing clarity with different fonts for every speaker (even a Germanic Gothic one) and, while not being perfect at the end, being much more what was expected of a book like this.  And it was unfortunately a highlight, for the next tale, of a wronged werewolf, was clumsily told, again asking the young reader to do too much with the many wordless frames and the incoherent plotting; and a version of the Pied Piper of Hamelin was proof of how and why this book had failed.  In trying for a wordless, expressionistic take on things (witness the Piper as a black fog taking the children of the town over a moat's bridge that then gets demolished) it defeated understanding at times, for this adult, let alone the target audience.

Do these people really think they're improving the originals?  Have they presented the Grimm et al so often they feel the need to do something radically different?  If the answers are no, and I know for a fact they should be, then bloody well stick to what has served mankind perfectly well up to now, without your oddball take on things.  Neither the children this is targeted at, nor the original stories, deserve this book – and even the bits I could enjoy were severely tainted by being in such frequently bad company.  Even with their efforts, the feel this left means even the bits of value here get negated, and the whole thing is worth a whopping one star.
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This is fun and interesting book aimed at children. The stories are various fairytales we heard as a child, rewritten in such a fun and simple way that children can enjoy it. There are several stories I didn't know and  the books provide insight to what those stories are about. The dialogues are not complicated and quite naturals, the art itself is cute. If I had a child and want to introduce them to fairytales, I would definitely give them this.
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