The Happy Prince is arguably the most famous and well loved of Oscar Wilde's nine fairy tales, rivaled only by The Selfish Giant. It is also a very timely tale at a time of controversy over the increasing chasm between rich and poor…The Happy Prince has lived a life of opulence but has died young and his soul inhabits a beautiful ruby encrusted statue covered all over in gold leaf. From his perch high above the city he is witness to all the poverty, misery, and hopelessness in which his people have been living. When a small barn swallow in flight to the warm south ahead of the approaching winter stops to rest upon the statue the Happy Prince prevails upon him to delay his travels in order to remove his gold leaf a piece at a time and shower it upon the poor citizens. Out of love for the Happy Prince the swallow does his bidding. As the days pass the Prince's beauty is stripped away and as winter sets in the bird's fate is sealed. In the spring the townspeople finding only a dull statue with a broken lead heart and a dead bird consign the worthless objects to the ash heap. Only an emissary of God recognizes them as the most valuable treasures of the city and brings them to the gardens of heaven.
"Russell’s sensitive, belle epoque–inspired artwork brings the story to life with a matched sensibility that makes other comics adaptations look clumsy."
-Publishers Weekly starred review
"Russell’s illustrations provide impressive visions of the descriptions the prince and the swallow share. All together, it makes for a feast for the eyes of many of the extremes of our world — artistic accomplishment (the gilded statue), natural beauty (the bird and the reed), faraway lands (the swallow’s Egyptian dreams), and the ups and downs of home (those living among us who need help)."
– Comics Worth Reading
" An outstanding piece of work, well worth your time and money, whether you’re a Wilde fan, a Russell fan, or just want to try something new."
– Comics Waiting Room
"The Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde Vol. 5: The Happy Prince is another triumph for both Russell and NBM. Russell’s art is never one to be missed, and The Happy Prince is no exception. Highly recommended, for readers of all ages."
– Read About Comics
You can buy a copy at Amazon.
" Russell manages to capture the tone of the fairy tale perfectly, neither letting Wilde do most of the heavy lifting nor leaving so much out that the original author seems ill-served. Would that all literary to comic adaptations could be so graceful."
– Robot 6
I also have one copy to give away. For a chance to win, simply comment on this post and include your email so I can contact you if you win. One comment per person, and this contest is limited to USA and Canada residents. I'll pick a winner on Monday.