Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fairy Tale Comics Blog Tour: Interview with Vanessa Davis

Today I'm extremely excited to wrap up my week of interviews with a very special Q+A with Vanessa Davis, one of the many fine cartoonists who contributed to Fairy Tale Comics, a stunning collection of stories and illustrations all in a variety of unique styles. As part of the promotional blog tour, Vanessa is here to answer a few questions about her contribution, "Puss in Boots", and how she reimagined her famous character. Welcome to Supernatural Snark Vanessa!

In Fairy Tale Comics, you delivered a retelling of "Puss in Boots". If you could choose one other fairy tale, myth, or legend to recreate in comic form, which one would you be most interested in drawing?

I'd be happy to draw most fairy tales, because they're so absurd and magical. I like The Donkey by the Brothers Grimm. It's about a prince who's a donkey but is actually a prince. I like that everyone gives him a chance. Also, I love donkeys.

How many versions of Puss did you go through before you landed on the red-booted, fluffy gray cat we see in the book?

I knew I wanted Puss to be as fluffy, puffy and cute as I could draw her. I did sketches to specifically get her little snout short and stubby but not too smooshy. I wanted her to be really fat and have a flat, wide head between her tufted ears. I wanted her to look kind of stupid, looks which belie her keen and shrewd cat-mind. I was a little sad to have to cover up her feet with boots, but luckily cats have four paws, so I still had the front ones. Paws add cuteness. I guess I really objectified Puss. But I think she's comfortable with these kinds of transactional relationships, so it's OK with her to have visual qualities to offer.

If you were to suddenly find yourself the proud owner of your version of Puss, what do you think would be the first thing she’d do when you brought her home?

Puss in Boots would have her work cut out for her in my household! I could definitely use someone looking out for me like she looked out for Lord Pistachio. Someone with that "killer instinct."

Let’s say you’re sitting on a throne in your castle and a cat waltzes up and delivers a bunny, a chicken and a goose. What are the first words out of your mouth when she does so?

"Hi, guys!!"

You fall victim to a fairy tale curse wherein you can only use a single color to bring your illustrations to life. What color do you choose?

That sounds like one of those extremely scary fairy tales. I guess I'd have to say black, but I would be sad about it.

Lord Pistachio is an incredibly sexy name ;-) If you were a princess in the "Puss in Boots" world, what would your name be?

I'd be happy to be Princess Pralines n' Cream!

If Puss were able to jump into any of the other stories in Fairy Tale Comics, in which one do you think she’d cause the most mischief or have the most fun?

If Puss hopped into the world of "The Boy Who Drew Cats", I think it would be a match made in heaven. The Boy would be so excited, and the Goblin Rat wouldn't stand a chance against her!

A few more samples of Vanessa's beautiful work:

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From favorites like "Puss in Boots" and "Goldilocks" to obscure gems like "The Boy Who Drew Cats," Fairy Tale Comics has something to offer every reader. Seventeen fairy tales are wonderfully adapted and illustrated in comics format by seventeen different cartoonists, including Raina Telgemeier, Brett Helquist, Cherise Harper, and more.

Edited by Nursery Rhyme Comics' Chris Duffy, this jacketed hardcover is a beautiful gift and an instant classic.

Fairy Tale Comics releases from First Second Books on September 24th


  1. LOL fun illustrations! And Princess Pralines and Cream? I love it!

    1. It's such a fun book Ali! All the illustration styles are so different and gorgeous:)

  2. I have never heard of this books but the pics are so cute! I love illustrations and this interview is really a lot of fun! I mean Princess Pralines lol! Love it. Great interview Jenny :)

    1. The whole book is adorable, and I'm such a big fan of fairy tale retellings!

  3. I adore these illustrations and this interview is so interesting. Thanks for sharing, Jenny!

  4. AWWW so cute Jenny!! Never thought of puss like this

  5. The illustrations all look so wonderful! This looks like a beautiful little book to have around. I really adore the cover too. Thanks for sharing the lovely interview, Jenny. :)

  6. I've never read fairy tales in a comics form, Jenny. It looks like it would be a fun experience.

  7. Illustrations are so cute. And you know how I love fairy tales. Awesome.

  8. Haha Princess Pralines and Cream is an awesome name! This sounds like such a cute book, I definitely want to check this one out. Lovely interview!

  9. Sometimes i wish my life were THAT care-free that i could actually bring myself to get upset about the contents of a comic book.