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Castle Waitingby Linda Medley
Synopses & Reviews
The multiple Harvey and Eisner award-winning fantasy is now collected in one volume!
The 450-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.
For the first time, Fantagraphics' Castle Waiting collects the entire story into one mammoth volume — and includes the concluding chapter written and drawn especially for this volume. Wittily reinterpreting the Grimm Brothers classic tale "Briar Rose" ("Sleeping Beauty") as a story of love, enchantment, and sibling rivalry, the opening chapter "The Curse Of Brambly Hedge" sets the stage for the story.
In the second chapter, "The Lucky Road," Lady Jain's fairy-tale life turns out not-so-happily ever after, as she leaves to search for Castle Waiting, a wondrous, mythical refuge where "all are welcome." Jain soon finds the castle is very much a home as well as a refuge, and learns to fit in with its eccentric inhabitants as she discovers how she can help them bring the lonesome, dilapidated place back to life.
The third chapter, "Solicitine," tells the story of Peaceful Warren, a young woman destined and determined to live an unconventional life. From the barroom to the circus to the convent and beyond, this chapter is a tale of an extraordinary adventure, an extraordinary friendship, and of making a place for oneself in the world.
An artist with 20 years' experience in comics and children's books, 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 children and literate adults.
"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.)
"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." 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 hefty tale that's well worth the time. For adults as well as teens." Booklist
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.
About the Author
Linda Medley lives in Portland, OR, where she is working on a multi-volume project re-imagining L. Frank Baum's work.
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