A rarely found Nights story, “The Prince and the Tortoise,” appears in graphic form in the newly recently published book Fairy Tale Comics. The book is edited by Chris Duffy who has been the editorial brains behind significant reboots of series like Nickelodeon Magazine and several key DC Comics titles. The story is illustrated by well-known comic artist Ramona Fradon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramona_Fradon) and written by Chris Duffy.
“The Prince and the Tortoise” first appears in the Nights in the Mardrus translation. According to The Arabian Nights Encyclopedia “This tale does not feature in the standard Arabic manuscripts of the Arabian Nights. According to Chauvin, Mardrus appropriated the tale from Yacoub Artin Pacha’s Contes populaires de la vallee du Nil” (Vol 1: 330).
The story concerns a prince who must choose a bride by shooting an arrow into the city and marrying an eligible daughter living in the house the arrow hits. Of course there are issues. The arrow strikes the same house multiple times but it’s not a daughter who lives there but a tortoise.
The prince decides to go ahead with the marriage. His two brothers marry human women. The three couples must then compete for their father the King’s favor and all sorts of hijinks follow involving the tortoise. I won’t spoil the story or the end but it’s happily ever after.
The book Fairy Tale Comics also contains many standard fairy tales rendered by contemporary graphic and comic book artists. These include two of my favorites, Jaime Hernandez (here doing “Snow White”) and Gilbert Hernandez (“Hansel and Gretel”), who pen the fantastic adult graphic series Love and Rockets. The book overall is a great addition to the continuation of fairy tales and is perfect for kids. My daughter reads it constantly and it’s the first exposure she’s had to many canonical fairy tales.
If you are interested you can buy it (with no financial reward to myself by the way) on Amazon here -