Grimmer Tales: twisted fairy tale comics

The publishers of Erik Bergstrom's Grimmer Tales: A Wicked Collection of Happily Never After Stories were kind enough to send me a review copy, which I've just had a very entertaining half-hour chuckling over. The book consists of a series of extremely nasty comic-strips telling the aftermath of the classic folkloric fairy tales. For example, one running gag has Pinnocchio telling polite social lies in panel 1, while panel 2 depicts his sprouted nose gouging out the eye of some innocent (i.e., "Cute baby! -- stab").

These running gags are pretty funny, but the really standout moments are the longer strips, especially the "What a Witch" strip, in which two witches standing over a cauldron extol the virtues of Kiddee Flakes, which are much more convenient for kidnapped-child-fattening than candy-houses. This is good, wicked humor at its finest -- if you loved Fractured Fairy Tales...

Grimmer Tales: A Wicked Collection of Happily Never After Stories


  1. Tough crowd. For my part, I like the Grimmer Tales but I don’t see much resemblance to ‘Fractured Fairy Tales’. FFT had the irreverence down, but it was never what you would call dark. And try as I might, I couldn’t “hear” Edward Everett Horton doing a voice-over for any of these sequences.

  2. Cory, thanks for the tip! Erik was hanging out at Union Square in NYC, selling his book and some original artwork today — had I not seen this on Boing Boing I might not have stopped and had a lovely conversation with him. Great stuff, this; reminds me of Edward Gorey.

  3. I thought this book was surprisingly funny. Yeah, I could see Edward Gorey… maybe some Gary Panter like said. Frog legs!

  4. I played the witch in a show called “Into the Woods”, which was based on “Fractured Fairy Tales”. 99% of the fairy tale characters ended up dead, and it was just hilarious.

  5. Stephen Sondheim, the songwriter/composer of Into the Woods states the play is based on traditional fairy tales. Also didn’t realize it’s a hilarious show. I’ve seen it too and listened to it incessantly/obsessively at times.

    The Baker’s wife died in the woods. But I think Jack, his father, the Baker, Cinderella, the two princes, Little Red Riding Hood, her grandmother, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty and a few others were all alive at the end. You gotta get rid of the Giant and the Wolf. The Witch self-destructed. You thought that was funny? She was in a lot of angst, dealing with her own loss and personal demons, plus all the people around her.

    I grew up on and love Fractured Fairytales. There’s a lot of wise poignancy in Sondheim’s lyrics and James Levine’s book. Good stuff!

  6. What was that little English book about the family who did not like its new baby and kept unsuccessfully trying to ditch it? I remember nearly losing control of my frilly bits for laughing when I read it, over and over. They called him the Beastly Baby. Okay it wasn’t a comic but it had lots of drawings. Yeah.

  7. Someone else said it, but it reminds me a bit of Edmund Gorey as well. Someone gave me “The Curious Sofa” and it’s one of my favourite little books of all time.

    I’m seriously upset I didn’t think of “Grimmer Tales”. Catchy stuff.

  8. Anonymous #8: Not quite all of those survived — IIRC, the princes die (one in flagrante delecto with the Baker’s wife, and I think the other with one of the other women), and (semi-spoiler) when Jack’s father gets killed off, “that’s when the plot really goes to hell”. :-) And the witch’s solo “The Last Midnight” seems to me to be the keystone of the play….

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