Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: 5

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33

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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED

June 2012

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“Another triumph for both Russell and NBM. Russell’s art is never one to be missed, and The Happy Prince is no exception. Highly recommended, for readers of all ages.”
Read About Comics

• This series was awarded the Eisner award winner for Best Artist and the Harvey award for Best Graphic Album

The Happy Prince
is arguably the most famous and well loved of Oscar Wilde's nine fairy tales, rivaled only by The Selfish Giant. It is also a very timely tale at a time of controversy over the increasing chasm between rich and poor…

The Happy Prince has lived a life of opulence but has died young and his soul inhabits a beautiful ruby encrusted statue covered all over in gold leaf. From his perch high above the city he is witness to all the poverty, misery, and hopelessness in which his people have been living. When a small barn swallow in flight to the warm south ahead of the approaching winter stops to rest upon the statue the Happy Prince prevails upon him to delay his travels in order to remove his gold leaf a piece at a time and shower it upon the poor citizens. Out of love for the Happy Prince the swallow does his bidding.

As the days pass the Prince's beauty is stripped away and as winter sets in the bird's fate is sealed. In the spring the townspeople finding only a dull statue with a broken lead heart and a dead bird consign the worthless objects to the ash heap. Only an emissary of God recognizes them as the most valuable treasures of the city and brings them to the gardens of heaven.

One of comic art’s most respected and pioneering artists, well known for his opera adaptations and beautiful fantasy work, P. Craig Russell has adapted Oscar Wilde’s famous fairy tales in a series of landmark volumes.

“Russell’s admiration and respect for this tale shines brilliantly. Russell’s style is evocative of earlier illustrators and illustrative styles, echoing art nouveau styles and the splendour of Arthur Rackham. The story is a treat as well as a treatise for contemporary readers of all ages.”
– No Flying No Tights

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REVIEWS

Booklist

•Literary review magazine

“An attractive introduction to Wilde’s tales.”

Comic Book Resources

•Comics website

“Russell manages to capture the tone of the fairy tale perfectly, neither letting Wilde do most of the heavy lifting nor leaving so much out that the original author seems ill-served. Would that all literary to comic adaptations could be so graceful.”

Publishers Weekly

•Publishing trade magazine

“Wilde isn't blatanly jeering at hypocrites or credulous fools in these stories. He is, however, suggesting that even the most genuinely beautiful surfaces shouldn't be trusted. Russell catches this mood perfectly, not trying to overshadow Wilde but merely helping him do his disturbing work. Russell's exquisite art has a supple ink line that's never fussy.”