I don’t particularly consider myself a fan of graphic novels or comics, but I do love beautiful illustrations and good stories. If a good story can be told primarily (or entirely) through good illustrations, so much the better!
One of the great things the Internet has done is to make it possible for authors/illustrators/creators to make their work readily available to a much larger group of people. Here are some of the fantasy comics I have been following online.
A new collaboration from Gina Biggs, Louisa Roy, and Elle Skinner (who all have separate projects of their own). There are only a few stories so far and each one is and will be based on a story from the Grimm’s collection and will be one of the lesser known stories. So no Cinderella or Little Mermaid. Gina Biggs adapts the stories and all three take turns with illustrating (and in color!). So far they’ve adapted “Farmer’s Clever Daughter”, “A Tale With a Riddle”, and are currently in the middle of “Maid Maleen”.
I literally just discovered this one a few days ago and I’m already in love with it. Created by Mark Siegel, the comic follows the adventures of the Hudson River steamboat Lorelai in the year 1887. Initially I thought it would be a real life sort of comic, but then the mermaid showed up. The comments and additional information underneath the comic provide facts and hints about topics brought up in that day’s comic. A perfect combination of fantasy and history with really lovely black and white illustrations.
Unfortunately, I’ve also gotten interested in a handful that seem to have been discontinued. Illustrations are nice and the stories seemed like they could have gone somewhere interesting. But it was not to be. Still worth looking at but read at your own risk.
Velharthis – An orphaned young girl begins a journey to a neighboring country to join the army. She is joined in her journey by a young man with a mysterious past. The threat of the Red Guard hangs over everything.
Ever After – Less than 60 pages to this one. Black and white primarily, with a manga look to it. Life in fairy tale land had become too unstable until the rich Mr. Humpty created an asylum where the most dangerous citizens could be taken to be “rehabilitated”. The story so far focuses on Little Red Riding Hood, the evil Dr. Crooked, and, of course, the Big Bad Wolf.
No Rest for the Wicked – I’m not sure if this has been abandoned or is just updated irregularly. Very irregularly. The last update seems to have been a year ago. I have only read the first chapter so far, but it appears to be an combination of various fairy tales and characters formed around an obscure fairy tale where the moon has been buried. The youngest daughter of a king has set off on a quest to find it.
If none of these comics appeal to you or if you are looking for more, most of these sites have “link” pages to other comics the authors like. Or you can always try the Online Comics Directory.