Title: Little Mermaid
Publication Date: July 11, 2017
Plot Synopses (provided by publisher):The Little Mermaid is Hans Christian Andersen’s most celebrated tale and is beautifully adapted here as a graphic novel by the Eisner award nominated duo Metaphrog (Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers), winners of the Sunday Herald Scottish Culture Awards Best Visual Artist 2016, and authors of the acclaimed The Red Shoes and Other Tales.
The Little Mermaid lives deep under the ocean and longs to see the world above. When at last she is allowed to rise to the surface at age fifteen, she falls in love with a young prince. In order to become a human and to be with him, she makes a dangerous pact with the Sea Witch.
Overall rating: 4/5
Overall: Because there isn’t a lot of text, this book feels very short, but it really does capture the entire story and all of its accompanying emotions very handily. I’ll get into it below, but the art is amazing. The story is a classic for a reason – everyone can relate to unrequited love and the idea of being completely overlooked. I also like that they didn’t age up the main character. She’s 15 and acts 15, and her choices would never be made if she were 5 years older.
Main themes/tropes: outsiders, sacrifice, unhappy endings, unrequited love
Plot: The classic plot, completely unDisneyfied. Hans Christian Andersen really wrote some fucked up shit. The story is laid out in the most barebones way possible, letting the art tell the story instead of the words.
Characters: Besides the Little Mermaid (who is never given a name), all of the characters are two-dimensional and barely in the story. The prince is particularly flat, and I can’t tell if it’s deliberate (making him a cipher) or not. It makes her choices regarding him seem particularly stupid, which may be the point, or if the point is more that her choices are her choices, and he’s part of it but not the biggest part.
Art: The art is amazing, rich and colorful. It’s done mostly in cool colors to reflect the melancholy of the story. The pages are black, so there’s an added depth to the color. The faces are expressive and unique.