Aesop's Fables: Classics Illustrated #18
Eric Vincent. Lettering by Patrick Owsley
. First Classics: Papercutz . NY
PA3855.E5V45 2013 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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Here is a new hardbound version of the book first printed in 1991 by Classics International Entertainment. The number in the Classics Illustrated series has shifted from #26 then to #18 now. The frontispiece advertises the nineteen books in the series. Several pages at the end advertise a deluxe series and offer pages from another number in the series, which is seen now as a series of graphic novels. Pink endpapers present the last scene from "The Prophet." This book is unpaginated, but I will keep the page references from the earlier publication so that readers can find particular stories more easily. As I wrote then, I really like this book. There are twenty-five fables told in this comic-book format, generally receiving one or two pages. Only "The Quack Frog" (26) and TMCM (40) get more pages, a total of three and four respectively. Among the best-told and best-illustrated are FC (4), "The Quack Frog," WS (33), and "The Soldier and His Horse" (35). Often fables told with humans as characters elsewhere in the Aesopic tradition are pictured with animals here, like the monkey astronomer (6) and the spendthrift (23; sorry, I cannot tell what animal this is!). There are some curious differences here from the tradition. In FM, the frog fails to note that he is drowning the mouse (7). A dog-barber sharpens the boar's tusks with a steel file in his shop (12). The monkey who dances before the camel tries to dance is a voluptuous female (24). The moral for "The Tortoise and the Eagle" is "envy is the strength of fools" (10) and for "The Viper and the File" it is "The covetous are poor givers" (20).