D’Aulnoy in Comics Form

I recently came across a stash of old French ‘comics’ from the early twentieth century.

La Biche au Bois

La Biche au Bois

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.

The dragons of "La Belle aux Cheveux d'Or"

The dragons of “La Belle aux Cheveux d’Or”

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.

Flying turkeys of "Le Nain Jaune"

Flying turkeys of “Le Nain Jaune”

They also captured the splendour that is the fairy who gets about as a crayfish/lobster.

The magic lobster of "La Biche au Bois"

The magic lobster of “La Biche au Bois”

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.

 

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