Rapunzel’s Revenge: a graphic novel

Fairy tales in the wild west. Yes indeed.

(I could say something here about the idea of the wild west being as much of a fairy tale as Rapunzel herself, but I’ll leave that for another day.)

This one is c/-Tansy, and I’m very pleased to have got hold of it. Hale expands on the role of Mother Gothel, and although she’s still a mean nasty magicy person, she’s much expanded: she has a political role in the surrounding lands, there’s a purpose of sorts to her magic, and there seems to be more of a purpose in her taking Rapunzel, too.

Rapunzel herself is way, way more interesting than most of the stories make her, which is unsurprising. She’s learning to lasso from a young age – not with her hair at that stage, that comes later – and she’s much more rounded in terms of motivation, naivety mixed with determination, and so on. She rescues herself from her tower (which is a most awesome tower), she rescues herself and others in a variety of situations, and she has interesting relationships with a bunch of other characters.

The other characters are a really nice part of this story. Rapunzel’s companion for much of it is Jack (who has a goose, and a bean…), who is NOT WHITE – as are a number of the other characters. Jack is quite nuanced, I think, moving from flighty schemer to serious and earnest – in a good way though. The pair run into a variety of law-types and rogues, and while I think all of the authority figures (except Mother Gothel herself) are male, a good proportion of the others, who help or hinder on the way, are female – just because they could be and it really doesn’t matter.

The pictures are fun. Lassoing with hair looks… painful, actually. Also, I loved Rapunzel’s costumes. She basically starts off in a dress that she wears for four years; then she’s in what looks like a nightie, with a belt and awesome green tights – she looks like Pippi Longstocking; she gets into pants eventually, but even when she’s in a ball gown (in which she is uncomfortable), she manages to fight effectively. Which is fun.

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