4 May 2012

Into The Woods Review Quotes Round-Up

As mentioned here previously, a couple of months ago, Cardiff Comic Expo saw the release of Stacey Whittle's Into The Woods anthology of fairy stories. Since then, this fine comic seems to have had more reviews than any other book that Alexi has been involved with - and almost all have been very positive. People have even seen fit to say positive things about Changeling, the story that Alexi scripted. In light of this, Alexi has pulled together a few quotes from and links to these reviews, to convince you that if you haven't purchased it yet, you should do so immediately (a mere five quid, plus £1.50 p&p, from the Aye Saw Comics Big Cartel page).

You may notice that most reviewers seemed a unnerved by 'Changeling' - and Alexi is delighted by this! Stacey wanted original stories that reflected the eeriness of traditional fairy tales, so Alexi tried to write a story that was creepy and dark but not explicitly gruesome. Conor Boyle then made the magic happen and drew it dang good (with a couple of panels that even give Alexi goose pimples). Alexi's not really a big fan of horror but is definitely thinking of doing more work in the 'subtly terrifying' vein.

Alexi genuinely enjoyed all of the other stories and art in the book and thinks it's a strong and well-put-together collection, so one of the nice things about the reviews is that each seems to highlight different favourite stories from the book. However, due to laziness (and not wishing to reproduce complete reviews), the collection of quotes below are about the book as a whole, or where mentioned, the Changeling story specifically. Read the full reviews for more info and context - but beware, some do contain spoilers.  ['ITW' denotes quotes about Into The Woods as a whole; 'C' denotes quotes about 'Changeling' specifically]

ITW: "the standard here is very high, upsetting the cliché that one should not expect high calibre work from a small press anthology, and the variety of styles makes it all the more pleasing"
C: "a very dark story. I wondered whether the writer had contemplated this story being a reflection of modern post natal depression, or whether it's just a very unnerving story, either way, I thought that although it is not uncommon as a subject, that it was portrayed very well."
James Bacon at Forbidden Planet

[Note: yes, the postnatal depression theme was intentional and Alexi is very pleased that readers seem to be appreciating this angle on the story]

ITW: "The standard of recent [UK indie] anthologies is continued here with some stand out performances and some brilliant editing. If you are a fan of fairy tales or anything slightly creepy this is for you."
C: "a strange beast ... the story works very well with some great use of panel structure"
Luke Halsall at Geek Syndicate

ITW: "a wonderful collection ... a joy to read and absorb ... a round of applause must go to its editor Stacey Whittle ... my hope is that this is only volume one and that there will be a second volume"
Jenni Newman at Small Press Big Mouth

ITW:"a well-balanced anthology with a consistently high level of work throughout"
Lizzie Boyle at Lizzie Boyle Says

ITW: "definitely worth picking up. It’s a very good-looking little book which justifies its £5 price, and I’d recommend it to fans of dark fairytales- think Guillermo Del Toro, Fables, etc"
Graphic Scenes

ITW: "The reason that you should buy this book is that it is really very good indeed, and testament to the deep rich vein of talent in the UK small press scene. I loved it."
C: "a DEEPLY disturbing and creepy tale... Of all the stories within this one easily made my flesh crawl the most, and is most certainly the one you’re best advised to read while hiding behind the sofa"
JamesMOMB at MOMBsite

ITW: "You get fantastic modern fairy tales and as a bonus you get some up and coming writer and artist names to keep an eye out for in the future."
C: "a heartbreaking tale with amazing artwork by Conor Boyle"
Dave Probert at GeekPlanetOnline

ITW: "artwork is decent throughout ... an interesting read"
C: "my favourite of the anthology... a story that was altogether much more subtle, and much weirder than any of the others"
M. Allen at Everything Comes Back To 2000AD

ITW: "a great opportunity for writers and artists to flex their creativity to bring us something we haven’t seen before"
C: "clever, clever stuff and the best of the bunch"
Orlok at Everything Comes Back To 2000AD

ITW: "a really impressive little anthology, and well worth the £5. Hopefully this will lead to more stand out anthologies from editor Stacey Whittle"
C: "a tightly plotted uncomfortable story that will stay with you long after you've finished reading"
Laura Sneddon at Comicbook Grrrl

ITW: "I liked the way that all nine tales had different art styles and ideas ... I think there was a tale for everyone within this collection"
Raimy-rawr at Readaraptor

ITW: "lots of really good stuff in there ... a really well done book"
C: "oh my god, it is so goddamn creepy"
Burnt Weiners podcast, ep113