A while ago, I received four Dark Tales graphic novels that I couldn’t wait to start to read. They were all classic stories re-told with beautiful imagery. I was in awe of the beautiful covers when they arrived, as you can tell by my previous article, and I loved reading them from cover to cover. They were sent to me for review on Fuzzable, so here’s the first one, which is Dark Tales: Beauty And The Beast: A Modern Retelling by Jeanne-Marie Leprince and illustrated by Pete Katz.
Before we get into this tale of Beauty And The Beast – a story we all should know or at least be aware of – we have to talk about how beautiful the cover is, with a brilliant gloss finish and defining details. As soon as you see this, you know it’s no ordinary Beauty And The Beast story, and yet it still sticks with the original version that was written centuries ago by Jeanne-Marie Leprince. We’re sure it’ll capture everyone’s eyes, encouraging people to pick it up more than not.
The beautiful imagery continues inside as every single page is covered in full-colour graphic detail that totally glued me to this book. The story is gripping as we follow an old man, named Emery Tibon, to a lonely castle to which he comes across Beast – but he’s not scary at all and he’s very welcoming.
That is until Emery decides to defy Beast and plucks a rose from his beautiful garden to take home to his daughter, Beauty. Deception is definitely something we don’t recommend and it certainly didn’t work out well for Emery, who has to strike a deal with Beast; this deal sees Beauty coming to live with Beast, leaving her father with her ghastly brother and sister.
The story goes on with some absolutely incredible flashback descriptive sidelines that are just brilliant backstories on some of the characters. We have to admit, an iconic book like this is not easy to structure down into a graphic novel, and yet Canterbury Classics has done an absolute grand job with the help of illustrator Pete Katz. These descriptive flashbacks are exactly what the reader needs whilst reading this story; they describe the Tibon family and how Emery Tibon ended up at that castle that fated night; they reveal the curse that hangs over Beast’s head and how Bramble fits into it; and then there’s a backstory on the castle as a whole with the inclusion of The Demon and Caliban.
The Demon and Caliban are a new addition to the story along with Beauty being an expert at archery. What we are missing from the tale who we all know is Gaston – but he never actually appeared in Jeanne-Marie Leprince’s original version – but we have a much more evil character in Caliban and it sure made this story even more addicting.
This is a great interpretation of the classic novel, and it definitely got me interested in reading the other three books that I was given. It’s like nothing I have read before, I’ve had graphic novels – both in colour and in black and white – in the past, but this just brought a whole new reading experience to me and I never wanted it to end. There was also a cliffhanger at the end just to tease us that slight bit more – and as much as I wish a sequel would be released, I very much doubt we’ll be seeing one. This ending will stay with me until the day I die; how dare they leave it there.
Dark Tales: Beauty And The Beast: A Modern Retelling by Jeanne-Marie Leprince and illustrated by Pete Katz, was released on 22 March 2018. It is available to buy online and you can find out more information on the official Canterbury Classics website. We can’t recommend this enough.
Look out for our reviews on the three accompany Dark Tales novels that were also released at the same time, in the coming days. These Canterbury Classics are “The Hound Of The Baskervilles” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and illustrated by Dave Shephard, “The Call Of Cthulhu” by H. P. Lovecraft and illustrated by Dave Shephard, and “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Andersen and illustrated by Emilie Majarian.