Written by: Matt Phelan
Release Date: September 13th 2016
Pages: 216, Hardback
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Award-winning graphic novelist Matt Phelan delivers a darkly stylized noir Snow White set against the backdrop of Depression-era Manhattan.
The scene: New York City, 1928. The dazzling lights cast shadows that grow ever darker as the glitzy prosperity of the Roaring Twenties screeches to a halt. Enter a cast of familiar characters: a young girl, Samantha White, returning after being sent away by her cruel stepmother, the Queen of the Follies, years earlier; her father, the King of Wall Street, who survives the stock market crash only to suffer a strange and sudden death; seven street urchins, brave protectors for a girl as pure as snow; and a mysterious stock ticker that holds the stepmother in its thrall, churning out ticker tape imprinted with the wicked words “Another . . . More Beautiful . . . KILL.” In a moody, cinematic new telling of a beloved fairy tale, extraordinary graphic novelist Matt Phelan captures the essence of classic film noir on the page—and draws a striking distinction between good and evil.
I’m not completely sure where this review is going to go. Snow White was an amazing idea, it was an amazing concept with taking this classic story to the 1920’s. There were so many amazing ways to update the story into something that easily worked, in fact the ideas were so effortless that it made perfect sense. So in reality I should be gushing about this story, and in a way I am gushing about the way that the story worked, about the ideas that Phelan used to turn this story on it’s head. I loved the idea of the mirror being ticker tape, I loved the way the seven dwarves were brought into the story. I loved so many amazing plot ideas of this graphic novel that it’s insane.
So what was the problem? Well, often times I was confused. I couldn’t figure out on the art alone what was going on. I had a few pages sometimes where I gave up on the story and just moved along until I was able to see exactly what was going on again. I got the gist of the story, I understood what was going on, but I don’t feel like I got the full story that Phelan wanted to present.
Here’s where things get really interesting though, because I read an ARC the images were in low resolution, and they weren’t in color. Does that mean that when the finished copy comes out I’ll be able to follow each panel of the story? I’m not sure. I do know for sure that I’ll be picking up a finished copy to look at it. Because if this story does become much clearer then I am completely absolutely sold on this concept and idea.