Cover Image: Other Ever Afters

Other Ever Afters

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Member Reviews

Other Ever Afters isn't my first time reading Gillman's work, but while these stories are missing some of the expansive satisfaction that their other work has. Many of these stories were written/drawn/developed as part of 24 hour comic challenges and that origin is still clear in their quick story arcs, the way some of them end right at the most interesting point, and in stories where some worldbuilding or exposition would be best if not delivered through fairytale narration. That being said, the art is beautiful, and Gillman's ideas are good ones, reworking many a classic story and inventing new ones with the help of old tropes. Perhaps it's not groundbreaking in this way, but a welcome addition to the genre.
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I enjoyed the twists on these classic fairytales. They were beautifully done and they were consuming I never wanted to stop reading.
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5 stars 

Fans of fairy tales, graphic novels/sequential art, and modern updates will likely join me in adoring this speedy and fulfilling read. 

Gillman mixes art and storytelling to create a compelling revamp of the enclosed tales, and the LGBTQIA+ focus is just one of the many elements employed here to make this collection especially engaging and memorable. The introduction and conclusion - as well as the final note - also create a clear sense of unity and messaging about expectations for feminine folks and hopes for the institutions that keep trying to hold us back. As much as I loved the individual tales, it's really this attention to the overall package that I am finding most endearing in retrospect. 

Between my Great Myths and Legends and Children's Literature courses, I am constantly reviewing and teaching new versions of fairy tales from all over the world and across time, and this is one of my favorite finds yet. I'll absolutely be recommending it to students for the long haul and to anyone who appreciates sequential art and fairy tale retellings in general.
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This collection of graphic-novel-style stories was absolutely fantastic from beginning to end. While many new fairytale collections rely on rebranding old stories, which can be charming in its own way, this collection included a diverse set of short tales with new characters and storylines.
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Really beautiful artwork, and the simple stories are full and rich. I could read many, many more and I hope Melanie considers making another volume!
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3.5/5 stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Netgalley.)

"We all know (for we are told it so often) that girls who linger in the woods meet terrible fates. They are devoured by beasts. They lose the path. They succumb to temptation. They do not marry; they do not rule. What truly goes hungry when it is denied girls to devour - is the castle. May we live to see it starve."

See that, on my arm? Goose pimples.

In OTHER EVER AFTERS: QUEER FAIRY TALES, Melanie Gillman spins new fairy tales, many starring characters who had previously been relegated to background roles, from some lovely rainbow-colored yarn. There's a peasant girl who leverages the Queen's fascination with her to achieve equity in the kingdom ("The Goose Girl"). In "The King's Forest," one of the king's rangers discovers that the ruler she serves is the real monster of the forest, for denying life-saving care to others. And in "Hsthete," a young maiden betrothed to a man she does not love prays to Hsthete, the goddess of misshaps, to tank her wedding. (These are my favorites.)

I wish I had a better working knowledge of classic fairy tales; it wasn't entirely clear to me whether these were reimagined, or just borrowed characters and elements from the originals. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the collection; it's a solid 3.5/5 stars. The stories are absorbing, if not always extra-memorable, and the artwork has a charming quality that suits them nicely.

TOC:
The King's Forest
The Goose Girl
New Name
Sweet Rock
Hsthete
The Fish Wife
The People's Forest
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I really enjoyed this collection of stories. Especially, the way Melanie Gillman took these popular fairy tale tropes and flipped them in new ways. I only wish that it could have been longer and had more tales. Maybe eventually Melanie Gillman will come back to this. I know I would pick up another one if they did. 

Introduction and Conclusion- I wanted to talk about both of these parts together because they were both connected, and the conclusion is a continuation of the introduction. These were great ways of starting out the collection and also ending it. I love the sentiment at the end. 

"The King's Forest"- ⭐⭐⭐⭐
 A sweet story with a beautifully sad message.

"The Goose Girl"- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Definitely, a different take on The Goose Girl story. I did not know going into this one if it would be similar to the original fairy tale or not. But I really like where this story went. 

"New Name"- ⭐⭐⭐
This was a pretty good story, but it was probably my least favorite from the collection. 

"Sweet Rock"- ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I really enjoyed this take on offerings to a giant and where that goes in this story. 

"Hsthete"- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
God and Goddess stories are always my favorites, and this was a great little story about a goddess of Mishaps. I knew exactly how the story was going to end but I loved that so much. 

"Fish Wife"- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This and the last story were my two favorites from the collection. The take on mermaids and tales of them was clever and different. 

"The People's Forest"- ⭐⭐⭐⭐
A great story with a powerful message for the reader. I also like how this is connected to "The Goose Girl" story earlier in the collection. 

Overall, this was a great collection of queer fairy tales that I thoroughly enjoyed. I only wish that there could have been many more.
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I was pleased by the content and artwork of Other Ever Afters by Melanie Gillman.  The stories lightly carry a message suitable for all ages.
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This beautifully illustrated graphic novel offers simple retellings of classic fairy tales with a LGBT twist. The themes were touching and the representations appropriate for young readers. I was a little surprised by the depiction of violence in the first story, given that the illustrations and word choice seems to indicate a very young audience. It was not over whelming, by any means. It was just a surprise. Not every story has a happy ending, but every story has a positive message. I would recommend this graphic novel to emerging readers in any grade.
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I've been a fan of Gillman's style since As the Crow Flies. Other Ever Afters is a pleasant collection of short comics that queerify and subvert fairy tales. Well organized. That conclusion is a kick in the teeth. 3.5 stars

TW: misogyny
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If you read Melanie's premiere webcomic work "As the Crow Flies" you'll know that the Society of Illustrators Gold Medal-winning cartoonist will delight you with their deft use of colored pencils. Each page is bejeweled with lovely color and transcendent storytelling. More, please.
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I wish there were more to this book. It was a very quick read. The representation that this book has is definitely needed.
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Delightful set of queer, subversive fairytales in a graphic novel. Melanie Gillman is so great at imbuing meaning/emotion in one still panel. I wish there were more stories because I tore through the comic in twenty minutes. 😭
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Beautifully drawn and gently, unapologetically queer, this sweet little collection of fairy tales is for everyone who has ever felt like “just a side character.”
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I really loved the queer retellings of these stories. I knew a few, such as Goose Girl, but not many. I love the fact that it so beautifully shows that the romance of the story can be a queer couple and it doesn't change the story at all. This a wonderful book to present to children right along side all the other fairy tale books
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Filled with queer versions of fairy tales, Other Ever Afters is a wonderful story filled with the strength, generosity, and resilience of girls. While not the most popular fairy tales, the source work is still recognizable.
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Full disclosure, I love everything Melanie Gillman writes. They have a sense of story that just rocks.  Their latest book, Other Ever Afters, subtitled New Queer Fairy Tales, takes a look at the traidinonal fairy tales, and plays with it. The giant that doesn’t eat her victims. The girl who doesn’t want to marry the handsome prince because he never looks at her. The knight who only wants to serve, but can find no one to serve. 
Written as a series of short sequential art, some done for 24 hour comic day, these all have an overriding theme of showing how fairy tales can be reinterpreted. And also showing how girls are told these tales so they follow the social norms, and that these new tales are to show there are other ways to be.
Highly recommended. I was going to buy this sight unseen, because everything Gillman does is wonderful. (and I still have it on order, even after reading this advanced reader copy.)
 
Oh, and one little note, the author picture at the back is a drawing of Gillman as Baba Yaga, but with pencils instead of a pestle. 

<em>Thanks to Netgalley for making tis book available for an honest review.</em>
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This was a really beautiful graphic novel. The art was soft and beautiful. I loved the fresh takes on classic tales. I think readers that like Kay O'Neill's graphic novels would enjoy this one.
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