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Once Upon a Time Machine

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  262 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
Fairy tales have fueled our dreams and fired our imaginations for centuries. Step inside a time machine built by a collection of today's finest storytellers, and enter a range of futures where familiar tales are reimagined in an astonishing variety of styles. This collection of twenty-five retold tales delivers a reading experience that will delight generations young, old, ...more
Paperback, 431 pages
Published October 10th 2012 by Dark Horse Comics
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Jul 07, 2012 Chris rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: Copy recieved via Netgalley.

Once Upon a Time Machine is what all good retellings of beloved tales should be. The basic premise is a series of tales transported to Sci-Fi settings that, in part, ensure employment of a comics department in a large corporation. Perhaps a comment on today's publishing world? If so, it seems to be an accurate one.

And you can believe it.

The various stories used include American folklore such as John Henry, Aesop, Asian tales such as “The Peach Pit Boy”, Eu
This lush anthology explores fairy tales (and some fictional classics) through the lens of science fiction. By turns grim, biting, enchanting, and wistful, the stories and imagery reshape our understanding of the significance of these long-cherished stories and tropes: Hansel and Gretel as bees, Pinocchio as a holographic truth-teller, John Henry as the final frontier "against" the introduction of robotic workers, Goldilocks facing justice for what she's done to a planet's native life-forms...

Jul 11, 2012 Auggie rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, netgalley
Without giving too much away, as this great title doesn't actually release until later this year, I want to tell you what a fun read this was! I was skeptical at first when I realized that it was a comic book. Not that I dislike comics. I used to read them all the time when I was younger, I just wasn't in the mood for one and wasn't sure how they were going to pull that one off...

But they did! I zoomed through the 400+ pages of AMAZING illustrations and FANTASTIC fable twists. It took a creative
Jul 30, 2012 Aimeekay rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this one. I wasn't sure at first. Sometimes I have issues with remakes of classics. But overall I think the authors and artists did a great job.
Some of the ones I really loved....Goldilocks and the Three Bears...The Tortoise and The Hare...Momotaro...The Five Chinese Brothers (even though it was sad!) , Vasilissa the Beautiful...
Well in thinking about it I pretty much enjoyed all of the stories.

I really liked that each story had different art styles. It made every story
Kellie Sheridan
Jul 30, 2012 Kellie Sheridan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
This is an extremely cool collection of short stories (in the form of comics/graphic novels), Once Upon A Time Machine takes a huge selection of stories we all grew up with and turns them into futuristic or entirely reinvisioned versions. There were a few stories I didn't recognize (that may have been appropriate additions of newer stories, I'm not sure) which were great, but my favorites were always the stories with hilarious new interpretations of my favorite fables.

While I genuinely enjoyed t
Once upon a Time Machine is a graphic novel collection of futuristic retellings of some of the popular fairy tales. Some of the illustrations, as well as the stories, as really good. I particularly enjoyed the re-tellings of Pinocchio, Sweet porridge, The Last Leaf and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.

One complaint though. The graphic novel was not properly rendered in Adobe Digital Editions so everything was a bit blurry which made it difficult for me to read the dialogue often.

ARC received from NetGalley and
Once Upon a Time Machine was a whole lot of fun! Retellings and Pictures of classic tales with a Sci-Fi/Futuristic twists. There are 50 total; 25 Retellings/Stories (Comic Style) and 25 Illustrations. The artwork was amazing and the stories were great - I enjoyed the vast majority of them. Some were a little confusing and I just didn't get. I wish that all (or perhaps most) of the illustration only parts were stories because some of the pictures were great and I really wanted a story behind them ...more
Jul 20, 2012 Tintaglia rated it it was amazing
Per riassumere:
Idea: 10
Realizzazione: 10
Tavole: 10
Illustrazioni fuori testo: 10

Il rischio, quando nei fumetti si decide di affrontare dei retelling delle fiabe, è di richiamare troppo Fables: un rischio che in questo meraviglioso volume è stato evitato.
Non mi si fraintenda: io adoro Fables, e aspetto ogni volumetto con un'avidità poco encomiabile, ma ancora di più apprezzo la capacità di discostarsi da un modello così di successo: Once upon a time machine ci riesce, con quattrocento pagine dens
Stephanie Cover2CoverBlog
Aug 11, 2012 Stephanie Cover2CoverBlog rated it really liked it
Shelves: early-review
Background: Once Upon a Time Machine is a collection of children’s tales retold through the guise of the future. The collection includes classics like, the three little pigs, Goldilocks and the three bears, and Pinocchio.
Review: This was a masterfully done piece, the short stories were engaging and beautifully illustrated. I loved that they were all set in a futuristic world; it was a very interesting take on each of the tales. In between each there were even pieces of art depicting some of the
Kelly Spoer
Oct 13, 2012 Kelly Spoer rated it really liked it
Edited 11/25/12: Finished.

There are some stories that left me sobbing, others that were just plain silly. But I wish all of them were longer than the 5-6 pages that they were.

Highly recommend.

Picked this up at New York Comic Con yesterday. The cover alone is beautiful. So far I'm loving it!
Jul 06, 2012 Lindsay rated it really liked it
NetGalley ARC

Loved the art and the different take on story telling! Not copying Fables like so many others! If you like graphic novels and fairy tales, bookmark this to read later.
Oct 11, 2012 Lissibith rated it liked it
Fairy tales updated with a sci-fi twist? I was sold on this premise so hard I didn't even finish reading the description before I put in an order for it. And I'm glad I got it, but the quality of this book is highly uneven, and I think a lot of the enjoyment will be out of what presses your artistic and storytelling buttons over what's just flat-out good. there's a lot to enjoy here, but you have to have certain tolerances for other stories.

Reviews of each story under the spoiler tag for... well
Random Jordan
Jul 16, 2012 Random Jordan rated it it was amazing
If you haven’t gotten an ear-full from me yet about faerie tales, you are in luck! I found the perfect thing to spread my wonderful love of faerie tales and folktales far and wide. It’s no surprise that Dark Horse Comics are the publishers for it either. I’m talking about the soon to be released in October this year, Once Upon a Time Machine. They didn’t just do a retelling of folktales, they took folktales and threw them into the future with such rich degree and imagination devoted to it. They ...more
Oct 07, 2012 Bookworm1858 rated it really liked it
The blurb promised a collection of 24 tales twisting and playing with beloved fairy tales. However I did not realize that it would actually be retellings of familiar stories. I just thought they would be fantastical and fairy-tale-esque. But no, I recognized most of the stories, which allowed me to seat back and enjoy the beautiful drawings and the science-fiction twists placed on most of them.

I'm not going to cover every story as that would take a really long time but I do have four that really
Another marvelous form of back to basics fairytales with a twist - marvelous indeed. Presenting Once Upon A Time Machine by Lee Nordling, Jason Rodriguez, and Tara Alexander.

Here is the summary of the book:

Fairy tales have fueled our dreams and fired our imaginations for centuries. Step inside a time machine built by a collection of today’s finest storytellers, and enter a range of futures where familiar tales are reimagined in an astonishing variety of styles. Editors Andrew Carl and Chris St
Yzabel Ginsberg
(A long-due review, considering I got an ebook copy through NetGalley over one year ago, but got sidetracked and forgot about reading it before it was archived there. Well, I can still give my opinion, though.)

This comic-book/graphic novel is about retellings with a sci-fi/futuristic twist—fairy tales and heroic deeds, but not only European ones: it also contains it shares of stories inspired by Asian folklore. As with every anthology-type book, quality varies, some stories being really good, an
David Edmonds
Aug 04, 2012 David Edmonds rated it really liked it
Once Upon a Time Machine is a collection of fairy tales that we're all familiar with, set in time periods that are unfamiliar to these stories.  Each of the fairy tales holds true to its origins, but they are retold in a a whole new fashion, with each of the tales taking on a science fiction flare. Told by some of the new, up and coming writers and illustrators in the comics business, these fairy tales are both familiar and fresh at the same time.

I wouldn't recommend reading them all at once. Ta
Justyn Rampa
Oct 11, 2012 Justyn Rampa rated it it was amazing
Absolutely AMAZING!!!! I do not want to go into great depth in this review in that a large part of the joy in experiencing this wonderful compilation is going into each story fresh. Dark Horse Publishing is to be commended for putting together such a fantastically imaginative compilation of sci-fi reinterpretations of fairy tales and in some cases, classic literature.

Some of the stories take on a surprisingly profound meaning as well. Everything about this read was unexpected and utterly deligh
Sara Thompson
Sep 13, 2012 Sara Thompson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
If you like graphic novels or science fiction then you should give this book a try. The concept is fun and the execution offers something for everyone. Once Upon a Time Machine is a series of fairy tale type stories that have been reworked into a future setting. Each story is written and drawn by different authors and artists so if you don't like one style then you can pass onto something more suited to you.
I enjoyed this. I liked the changes to many of the stories. I, also, discovered stories t
Aug 21, 2012 Jeffrey rated it really liked it
MITNG reviews Once Upon A Time Machine
Callie Rose Tyler
I was super excited to read this and maybe I set myself up for failure, but I was somewhat disappointed. First off I made the assumption that time travel would be a factor in at least some of the stories, despite the title, this was not the case.

All of the stories are sci-fi fairy tale re-tellings some of which I was familiar with others which I had never heard of, but I think this added to the diversity. The art and story telling were different for each story but the futuristic element stayed t
Dec 26, 2012 Kristen rated it it was amazing
Theme: I have loved fairy tales since I was child and experiencing them in graphic novel format is always a thrill. Adding a twist of science fiction into this beautiful graphic novel only made it more appealing for me. The elements of science fiction change the stories in a way that was quite captivating. I especially loved the one of Pinocchio (The Stars Are Not Wanted Now) who was a machine made to tell the truth, but started to lie because he found it was too hard to tell the truth.

Jul 09, 2012 Emlen rated it really liked it
[I have a bit of a personal connection to this book, so might be biased. Nevertheless...]

Really delightful collection of comic-book versions of fairy tales -- or rather, more generally, beloved children's stories, including things like Peter Pan and The Three Musketeers -- retold in sci-fi settings. All the stories are by different authors and artists, and there don't seem to have been any real rules about how they had to treat the source material, which allows for a lot of variety in style and
GRPLTeens Grand Rapids Public Library

Appeal Characteristics: STYLISTIC ART, fractured fairy tales, science fiction, fantasy, stories, morals

This should be the new Flight Anthologies for Fairy-Tales/Folklore. I mean it's one thing to see a beautiful cover art for beauty and the beast, but it's another thing to read about a crazy updated version of the John Henry story (AND I LOOOOVE JOHN HENRY)and a creepy Humpty Dumpty one. I like the brief bio of all the illustrators and writers who contributed to this massive volume. I hope that
Jun 26, 2016 Aaron rated it really liked it
I chose this book for our high school book club. Two students who don't read a ton said it was their favorite book ever! Two other students who read a lot said they thought it was just ok.

Like most compendium books, there were stories that I liked a lot, and stories that I hated. If nothing else, I really liked this book for the the different illustration styles, and I really liked the 1-page drawings that were interspersed between the stories. I wish I had been more familiar with some of the fa
Dec 26, 2012 Jessica rated it really liked it
Appeal Characteristics: STYLISTIC ART, fractured fairy tales, science fiction, fantasy, stories, morals

This should be the new Flight Anthologies for Fairy-Tales/Folklore. I mean it's one thing to see a beautiful cover art for beauty and the beast, but it's another thing to read about a crazy updated version of the John Henry story (AND I LOOOOVE JOHN HENRY)and a creepy Humpty Dumpty one. I like the brief bio of all the illustrators and writers who contributed to this massive volume. I hope that
Erin Reilly-Sanders
I think I'm going to let this one sit a bit and then consider maybe changing my ranking from a 4 to a 5. First off, it has some of the best art I've seen in a graphic novel. It has the same great variety as Trickster and Explorer: The Mystery Boxes but some of the individual pieces in this are much more sophisticated. I especially like the pieces that use what appears to be watercolor, although many of the more traditional ones have a nice balance of simplicity and detail, something which I find ...more
Jan 21, 2013 Hollowspine rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
A variety of graphic stories linked by their re-interpretation of various fables, myths and fairy tales. There are twists on Hansel and Gretel involving giant insects, Humpty Dumpty finally finding his identity (leaving another broken in his place) and John Henry as a mech pilot just to name a few of the numerous and various stories in the anthology.

I enjoyed the varied, often eye-catching, artwork, as well as the different takes on the familiar stories. Some were easily recognized, and others w
Jan 16, 2016 Jessica rated it it was amazing
This was a super fun collection of fairy tales, fables, and nursery rhymes retold using various genres and creative liberties. The art was fantastic for most of the stories and I spent just as much time looking at the illustrations as I did reading the stories. As with all things of this nature, some of the stories and re-tellings were better than others. Some of my favorites were:

The Three Musketeers
Sweet Porridge or Sweet Science
The Three Little Pigs (by Jamie Roberts)
The Shepherd and
You know what they say: Better late than never. I finally got around to reading this after about 8 months of having it sitting patiently for me to get to it and now I'm kicking myself for waiting for so long.

It was amazing. While there were a few stories I found hard to follow, in part because I was unfamiliar with their source material and in part because they seemed to be rushed and condensed in order to work in this anthology, the grand majority of them were fantastic futuristic/Sci-Fi takes
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Andrew Carl is an Eisner Award-winning editor and writer for comics. As a co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Locust Moon Press, he is currently based in San Francisco.
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