Once Upon a Time Machine

Once Upon a Time Machine - Andrew Carl, Chris Stevens, Tara Alexander, Jason Rodriguez, Lee Nordling (A long-due review, considering I got an ebook copy through NetGalley over one year ago, but got sidetracked and forgot about reading it before it was archived there. Well, I can still give my opinion, though.)

This comic-book/graphic novel is about retellings with a sci-fi/futuristic twist—fairy tales and heroic deeds, but not only European ones: it also contains it shares of stories inspired by Asian folklore. As with every anthology-type book, quality varies, some stories being really good, and others leaving me cold; overall, though, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Every story is by a different author, too, and so you'll get very different styles, both in drawing and storytelling (here, too, you might like or dislike a given style, depending on what your tastes are like).

Among my favourite ones, I would list:

- 1001: An interesting beginning, playing, of course, on the "1001 Nights".
- John Henry: I admit I didn't know about him before reading this book, and then researching him... No matter what, it was a strong story, even without previous knowledge of the original one, and proved to be a good way of illustrating the man/machine conflict.
- The Stars are not Wanted Now: Pinocchio as an AI who doesn't know how "it" should behave. I liked how the part about lying was revisited.
- The Three Musketeers, in an unexpected setting where it's indeed "all for one", and where they either work together or don't work at all.
- The Three Little Pigs: Highly unusual, especially regarding the role played by the wolf, who doesn't go around destroying houses, but reputations. I loved the ending.
- Rikki-Tikki-Tavi: My favourite, even though it deals with a theme I'm not at ease with. The original one had always been one of my favourites, and it remains so here.
- The Five Chinese brothers also left a strong impression on me.
- Bombus and Vespula: Really creepy in its ending, and not where I thought it would take me... yet it made its point pretty well.