I recently came across a stash of old French ‘comics’ from the early twentieth century.
They’re beautiful, A3 size productions of d’Aulnoy’s fairy tales. The paper and print is quite cheap, there’s only a couple of folded pages and only the covers are in full colour, but the illustrations are stunning.
What I particularly love about the illustrations is that the artists have captured the frankly bizarre aspects of d’Aulnoy’s imagination. So, for example, they captured her fascination with odd modes of transport.
They also captured the splendour that is the fairy who gets about as a crayfish/lobster.
It’s actually quite amazing that they’ve survived at all. They’re not the oldest in my d’Aulnoy collection, but their large, awkward size and flimsiness suggests how easy it would be for them to be torn and discarded. Likewise, while the artwork isn’t polished, the energy and sense of fun more than makes up for it.