The Girl Who Married a Skull: And Other African Stories

illus. by various. 209p. Iron Circus. Oct. 2018. pap. $15. ISBN 9781945820243.
Gr 6 Up—Originally published in 2014 through a successful Kickstarter campaign, this graphic novel features 15 African tales adapted by different indie comic artists, including best-selling author Faith Erin Hicks. The stories and the black-and-white art range in style and tone. The entries preserve the intent of the source material but offer intriguing new takes. In the titular entry, a beautiful yet vain young woman attracts the attention of a skull who wishes to marry her. The skull happily bounces across the grass, with hearts in his eyes, then calls The Boys on his cell phone for help in hatching his scheme, though they ask how he is even using a phone. In a tale about how Anansi the spider spends his days creating webs after he is punished for trying to steal wisdom from the elders, Anansi and the other animals are drawn with thick line art and minimal background. Bonus pages include select concept sketches.
VERDICT A notation about each piece's country of origin would have been helpful, but this is otherwise a solid addition to most YA graphic novel collections.

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