Snow, Glass, Apples

Dark Horse. Aug. 2019. 64p. ISBN 9781506709796. $17.99; ebk. ISBN 9781506709802. Rated: Mature. FANTASY/HORROR
Beloved, multi-award-winning author Gaiman (The Sandman Omnibus. Vol. 3) partners with esteemed illustrator Doran (cocreator, Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir) to reimagine “Snow White” as a tragic and erotically charged tale of visceral horror. After his wife dies giving birth, a handsome king begins a passionate affair with a beautiful witch. He eventually installs her in his castle, where she encounters his daughter, an eerie and sickly pale child with sharp yellow teeth and, as the witch discovers one winter night, a taste for human blood. After the king finally succumbs to his daughter’s appetites, the witch is crowned queen and quickly orders her stepdaughter destroyed. A period of peace and prosperity ensues until the princess returns and sets about seducing, then devouring, the people living in the forest surrounding the kingdom. Some poisoned apples halt this reign of terror until a prince with a necrophilia fetish shows up and paves the way for a decidedly unhappy ending.
VERDICT Doran, drawing inspiration from art nouveau and Irish illustrator Harry Clarke, eschews conventional formatting and panel grids, presenting the story in lush, fully painted, free-flowing layouts that nicely complement Gaiman’s lyrical narration. An excellent choice for adult horror collections.

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