Hey, so today, we’re doing a book review. As I mentioned earlier, I love the Television series, Once Upon a Time. A short while ago, Marvel came out with a comic with short stories based on the show. I read this book cover to cover, and I loved everything about it!
I’m gonna start off by talking about the cover art. I think that Stacey Lee did a fantastic job in illustrating the cover. I felt that she really captured all of their faces and features. Her choice of expression really did fall into the character. If you look closely, behind the characters’ faces are backgrounds. These backgrounds also encompass the characters and their stories and I felt that Stacey Lee is doing an awesome job as a comic book artist.
I also had a fun surprise when opening the book and taking out the cover. We have this beautiful faux leather material with golden designs. If you have watched this series, you might notice that it bears a resemblance to Henry’s book. Anyways, I thought that it was very fancy and a fun little addition to the magic.
Let’s dive into the book! The book focuses on four different stories involving different characters. The first is about Hook, the second about Rumple and Belle, the third about Regina, and the fourth about Jefferson. I want you to keep in mind that not everyone can just pick up this book and start reading it. These stories are not about what already happened in the book. These stories are about what might’ve happened or what could’ve happened, essentially fan fiction, yet these stories build the characters’ persona. Also, the title of this book is called Out of the Past. This is because all of the stories focus on an old character or secondary character coming back into the person’s lives. For example, Hook’s story focuses on his older brother, Liam, coming back into his life.
I loved the first chapter. It was called, Dead in the Water, illustrated by Pascal Campion. This chapter was one of my favorites because, well, I’m kinda biased. Hook is my favorite character so this made me even happier. I don’t want to give too much away, but this chapter was about Liam reentering Hook’s life and Hook has to make a vital choice. I think the chapter was something to ponder over, and I’m glad it was a short chapter because it was very thought provoking. The artist did a nice job keeping it nice and light – not focusing on the main details, but detailing the backgrounds and such. Campion has also illustrated many other Marvel comics.
The second chapter was called Truth and Daggers illustrated by Betsy Peterschmidt. This was about an old friend of Belle coming back into her life, and again, forcing her to make a difficult choice between him or Rumple. The art was kept loose and flowy with a watercolor kind of look. It was very realistic but artsy, too. I’m pretty sure it was done with inks and watercolor.
The next chapter was called Ghosts illustrated by Vanesa Del Rey. This was about Regina and Daniel’s brother coming back into her life. She is also forced to make a hard decision. I think this chapter built Regina’s story all in all. I think that the color in this story was picked wonderfully, but I didn’t feel the same about the art. I really did not like this sketchy style at all and felt that it beared no resemblance to the characters. I did like the use of perspective and view in the piece, so Del Rey scored on that one!
My favorite chapter was the last one. It was called Tea Part in March illustrated by Janet K. Lee. This one was about Jefferson and his wife, who we have never met in the TV series. For this reason, I felt that I learned a lot more about him and this story really added depth to one of my favorite mysterious characters. This story probably brought me onto the verge of tears, just like it did when I watched him on the show! One of the reasons I really liked this one is because it had my favorite comic book artist: Janet Lee! I have seen her work in a great comic that I recommend: Return of the Dapper Men. Her style works around drawing the foreground first and cutting it out, and then pasting it onto the background. Her unique and playful style is just fabulous in this story.
This book is a must read for all OUAT fans. I promise you will enjoy it. There is bonus material featured in the very end of the book which consists of never-before-seen Jolly Roger concept art and fashion sketches. I really hope that oncers out there take time to read this book. Thanks, and don’t forget to comment!
References: Me! and Marvel – Once Upon a Time – American Broadcasting Company