‘Vampirella: Feary Tales’ review
By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor
Continuing with our Halloween theme for the month of October, this week I decided to check out a classic—actually, more a revision of a classic: Vampirella: Feary Tales. Overseen and written by Nancy A. Collins, this book has some big name cameos, including Gail Simone and Devin Grayson as Collins’ co-writers. Despite that, it still remains true to the original pulp fiction Vampirella roots, but in doing so it runs the risk of being too niche.
Done in honor of Vampirella’s 45th anniversary, Feary Tales has our heroine trapped inside a storybook filled with familiar yet slightly twisted tales that parody classics such as The Little Mermaid. Her only way out is to play through all the stories to gain her freedom. Each story is handled by a team of all-star writers and artists, but the overall impression of the book is cohesive and the art is amazing.
I was slightly put off by the concept of the graphic novel when I picked it up. I find the idea of “dark” or horror-based revisions of fairy tales to be a little cliché. However, I enjoyed Feary Tales, probably for the same reason I enjoy Fables—it was funny. Vampirella is not a character who lends herself to be taken seriously, and this book is more than aware of that. It’s campy, dark, and filled with sexual innuendo.
So here’s my problem. At no point in this novel is there any reference to the character’s history, so all that camp and humour is only apparent if you’ve read the old Warren Magazine issues, or are at least aware of them. Newcomers to Vampirella run the risk of misunderstanding the context this new novel is written in.
Overall, I enjoyed this book, but I can probably only recommend it to those obsessed with or interested in pulp fiction from the ’60s.