THE HAPPY PRINCE tells timely tale of rich vs poor

by Jeff

feb121098 THE HAPPY PRINCE tells timely tale of rich vs poorMedia Release — After another few years hiatus, P. Craig Russell, the influential and pioneering comic artist whose Opera adaptations of The Ring of the Nibelung and many others, as collected by NBM in the 3-volume P. Craig Russell Library of Opera Adaptations, and also a frequent collaborator to Neil Gaiman in his Sandman series and other works such as Coraline, comes back to another of his great loves: the complete adaptations of the at-times whimsical, at-times poignantly lyrical little fairy tales Oscar Wilde set to paper after regaling British society with them. Each one is deeply moral and with a very pointed message.

This volume is entirely composed of a longer tale, that of a Prince who lived an easy life of luxury and insouciance but died young. Magically his statue in the central square has his heart and soul and while he is encased in gold sheeted metal, he can now plainly see the misery of his people. He enlists the help of a barn swallow to pick the gold and rubies off himself to help them. It is a sad, even tragic tale and one that is very timely in these “Occupy Wall St.” days of dissatisfaction over the 1% vs. the 99%. Its touching message of compassion and altruism all the way to the end rings a deep note with us today, in our society with an increasing chasm between the wealthy few and even a struggling middle class, let alone the poor.

Russell, along with NBM, pioneered the concept of fairy tale adaptations and children’s graphic novels with the launch of this series back in 1992 when the barely emerging form of graphic novels was still dominated by literary endeavors or superhero collections. The series has been honored with many awards including the Harvey, the Eisner and by Parents’ Choice.

8 ½ x11, full color clothbound, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-56163-626-6, June.

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