January 6, 2009

The Book of Ballads by Charles Vess and Others

Books Completed: 9
Date Completed: January 7, 2009
Pages: 192
Publication Date: September 30, 2004

Reason for Reading: Graphic Novel Challenge

Illustrated and presented by one of the leading artists in modern fantasy, here are the great songs and folktales of the English, Irish, and Scottish traditions, re-imagined in sequential-art form, in collaboration with some of today's strongest fantasy writers. Here are New York Times bestseller Neil Gaiman with "The False Knight on the Road"; popular mystery author Sharyn McCrumb's version of "Thomas the Rhymer"; acclaimed children's writer Jane Yolen with "King Henry" and "The Great Selchie of Sule Skerrie"; popular novelist Charles de Lint's contemporary reworking of "Twa Corbies"; Bone creator Jeff Smith with "The Galtee Farmer"; Emma Bull's version of "The Black Fox," and much, much more. Introduced by award-winning editor and writer Terri Windling, and finished with full lyrics and discographies of the classic versions of these songs and tales, The Book of Ballads is an event in the worlds of fantasy and graphic storytelling alike.
Luck was with me when I was at the second-hand bookstore on Tuesday! I have tonnes of credit there, but haven't been having much luck finding books that interest me lately. Tuesday, I brought home quite the pile! When I found this book I almost did a happy dance right in the store! Think about it... This book is illustrated by Charles Vess, who is an amazing artists. The stories included in each comic are retelling ballads, which are something that I love! And, then, there are the authors of each comic. They are some of the best fantasy authors out there. Add in the fact that Terri Windling does the introduction, and you have everything that this folk tale fangirl needs! I mean, the book is second-hand, so it is not as nice as it would be if I had bought it new, but it is hardcover and has a beautiful cover! I hope the rest of 2009 is as wonderful reading-wise as this first week has been!

The book includes stories by Neil Gaiman, Jane Yolen, Sharyn McCrumb, Midori Snyder, Lee Smith, Elaine Lee, Delia Sherman, Charles de Lint, Jeff Smith, Charles Vess, and Emma Bull. Charles Vess is the main illustrator. Jane Yolen and Charles de Lint have two stories included. The best thing is that they not only rewrite these ballads, but the actual ballads are also included. I thought that was a great idea! If that is not enough for you, also included is a discography so you can actually find singers that sing these ballads and hear them for yourself! So, yes, I loved this book! It took so many wonderful things that I love and brought them all together! I am so happy that I went to the bookstore because this is a book that I will be holding onto for years to come. I also intend to spend some time looking up some of the music so I can hear it myself.


Jenn said...

Wow, what an incredible find! Thanks for sharing with us. I'm envious and now on the look out :)

Beth F said...

OMG! What an awesome book! Lucky you. I'll be haunting the used bookstores too.

Kailana said...

Yeah, I really lucked into it! Bookstores around here never have stuff like this. :)