girasolace, July 9, 2011 (view all comments by girasolace)
Strange, engrossing, intimate fairy story of some of those background fairytale characters. Jain, pregnant, flees her nasty husband and takes refuge in the isolated Castle Waiting (Sleeping Beauty's abandoned home), where she makes friends with the quirky denizens, who are excited to welcome a baby (but - a baby what?) into their midst. Marvelous, endearing, surprising characters and lovingly, medievally-accurate (so far as my knowledge extends) gorgeous drawings. Also, a very surprising order of nuns.
crowyhead, December 6, 2007 (view all comments by crowyhead)
Castle Waiting is the name given to Sleeping Beauty's castle after she was carried off by Prince Charming to live Happily Ever After. Now the remaining former denizens run the keep along with a motley crew of humans and magical beings. I very much enjoyed this, particularly the second half, which tells the story of Sister Peace and the order of nuns she belongs to -- all of whom happened to be bearded women. However, the first half and the second half didn't quite mesh right for me; there are some story threads in the first half that are never satisfactorily wrapped up, and at times the book feels rather meandering. It's a heck of a lot of fun, though, and Sister Peace is just awesome.
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Jonathan, July 2, 2007 (view all comments by Jonathan)
Beautifully illustrated and filled with references to folk stories and fairy tales. This is a graphic novel that any fairy-tale lover should check out.
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"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"A set of linked nouveaux fairy tales, this graphic novel extends the story of Sleeping Beauty into a modern, feminist Chaucer for happy people. After Sleeping Beauty leaves with the prince, the three ladies in waiting, Patience, Prudence and Plenty, stay on in the castle, a hobgoblin-infested structure that becomes a refuge for those in need: a pregnant woman fleeing her abusive husband; Sir Destrier, a horse-headed knight who wants a place to rest between adventures; Beakie, a kindly bachelor merchant; and Sister Peace, a bearded nun. The ladies do things like dye their hair red with henna, but mostly they tell stories of their lives. The art is full of humor; we know each character as soon as we see them. The faces are particularly expressive. The stories of the bearded nuns go on a mite too long, but there's still plenty of humor in their invention of a whole order of nuns dedicated to showing up the idiocies of men. Medley's art is both exquisitely detailed and fantastically lighthearted. Though appropriate for all ages, this one-of-a-kind graphic novel is likely to appeal most to smart women in their 20s and older — much older — and to any man who believes in feminism and knows how to laugh." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Library Journal,
"The charming black-and-white art evokes medieval-style woodcuts but with a much more playful mood. Featuring talking animals, romance, demons, magic, and miracles aplenty, this is a sophisticated and delightful saga for all ages."
by Kikrus Reviews,
"[C]harming...the artwork has an Archie-like freshness that should draw the younger set. A sweetly appealing tale."
by School Library Journal,
"Hard-edged lines with simple forms create black-and-white artwork that melds nicely with the fairy-tale feel of the stories....[A]ccessible for younger readers but filled with enough layers and depth to satisfy those looking for a bit more sophistication."
"A hefty tale that's well worth the time. For adults as well as teens."
The 456-page Castle Waiting graphic novel tells the story of an isolated, abandoned castle, and the eccentric inhabitants who bring it back to life. A fable for modern times, Castle Waiting is a fairy tale that's not about rescuing the princess, saving the kingdom, or fighting the ultimate war between Good and Evil — but about being a hero in your own home. The opening story, "The Brambly Hedge," tells the origin of the castle itself, which is abandoned by its princess in a comic twist on "Sleeping Beauty" when she rides off into the sunset with her Prince Charming. The castle becomes a refuge for misfits, outcasts, and others seeking sanctuary, playing host to a lively and colorful cast of characters that inhabits the subsequent stories, including a talking anthropomorphic horse, a mysteriously pregnant Lady on the run, and a bearded nun.
For the first time, Fantagraphics' Castle Waiting collects the first volume of the Harvey and Eisner Award-winning* comic book series into one hearty hardcover. Linda Medley lavishly illustrates Castle Waiting in a classic visual style reminiscent of Arthur Rackham and William Heath Robinson. Blending elements from a variety of sources—fairy tales, folklore, nursery rhymes—Medley tells the story of the everyday lives of fantastic characters with humor, intelligence, and insight into human nature. Castle Waiting can be read on multiple levels and can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.
2007 Eisner Award nominee: Best Graphic Album — Reprint, Best Publication Design (Adam Grano)
2007 Harvey Award nominee: Best Graphic Album — Previously Published
Official Selection, 2008 Festival International de la Bande Desinée de Angoulême (French edition)
"20 Essential Albums for Summer 2008," l’Association des Critiques de Bandes Dessinées (French edition)
Finalist, Prix de la Critique 2008, l’Association des Critiques de Bandes Dessinées (French edition)
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