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Castle Waiting, Vol. 1 (Castle Waiting Omnibus Collection #1)

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3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  5,489 Ratings  ·  585 Reviews
Castle Waiting graphic novel tells the story of an isolated, abandoned castle, and the eccentric inhabitants who bring it back to life. A fable for modern times, Castle Waiting is a fairy tale that's not about rescuing the princess, saving the kingdom, or fighting the ultimate war between Good and Evil, but about being a hero in your own home.

The opening story, "The Bramb
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Hardcover, Graphic Novel Collection, 457 pages
Published June 17th 2006 by Fantagraphics Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Melki
Jul 17, 2012 Melki rated it it was amazing
A magical tale of what happens after the happily-ever-after.

To save a young princess's life, a town is put to sleep for one hundred years. When the princess is awoken by a kiss, she wastes no time hurrying off to live with her charming prince, leaving the villagers, well, speechless...

The castle soon becomes a refuge for all sorts of "lost souls," both human and animal. We meet a host of wonderful characters, and magnificent tales are spun.

A convent full of bearded ladies and a green baby add t
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Claire Scott
Aww! This was a sweet re-imagining of fairy tale settings and tropes with a decidedly feminist slant, in which everything ends happily but without the darkness or chance of real fairy tales. In the first half of the book, a pregnant Lady goes on a quest for the fabled "Castle Waiting," a safe haven for all who seek it. She finds it and essentially lives happily ever after with her baby, who takes after his (literally) ogreish father rather than the Lady's husband. The second half of the story fo ...more
Felicia
Feb 18, 2009 Felicia rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I bought this book on recommendation for my graphic novel education. When I was a kid I was obsessed with fairy tales, my guilty secret is that I tried to weasel my way in to folklore "major's only" classes in college. (never worked :( ) This is very folkloric in it's storytelling, and the drawings are charming.

"Castle Waiting" is presented in a beautiful edition and it's lovely to hold and look at, I am pleased to add it to my collection. The stories were very sweet and I loved reading about th
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Carmen
Apr 28, 2015 Carmen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
This is an amazing fantasy graphic novel. It features anthropomorphic animals, an order of bearded nuns, a pregnant lady seeking sanctuary, and mischievous little sprites.

Medley does a great job of combining fairy tales with something a lot weirder and more sarcastic. However, this is no dark exploration of the seedy underbelly of our beloved stories. Instead, this volume has an overall happy, upbeat, positive message - true love triumphs, good wins over evil, slaves are freed, and virtue is rew
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Seth T.
Nov 22, 2011 Seth T. rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
[This is a review for both Fantagraphics volumes.]

Castle Waiting by Linda Medley

One of the great, nearly insurmountable problems of genre literature is that it has a need to follow after the conventions of its genre. This can be fine if all one wants is more of what one has already read. More hard-boiled detectives down on their luck who come up against the jealous or crooked police force in order to solve the case but ultimately lose the fight. More unsuspecting lads who flee their home villages to get caught up in a prophe
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Jason Pettus
Sep 02, 2008 Jason Pettus rated it really liked it
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)

Like any self-respecting obsessive book nerd, at any given moment I'm actually in the process of reading three or four books simultaneously; there is the deeper and more complex novel, for example, that I will read only at a cafe during the day, a less complex one I read in more distracting environmen
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Grace
May 22, 2008 Grace rated it really liked it
Fans of Fables (the comic book) and fables (the genre) alike will enjoy this wonderful comic book compilation of fairy tale-like stories. In fact, even though I'm an enthusiastic fan of Fables, I'd have to actually rank this one as even better, in my estimation. The characters leap off of the page with their charm and fascinating stories. And the author, while alluding to fairy tales frequently, tells her own new stories with magnificent talent!

The book ends abruptly, and I sincerely hope that m
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Eilonwy

I’m not sure how to describe this book! Other than to say that I fell head-over-heels in love with the crazy, quirky, and yet comforting world in this one-of-a-kind story.

The book opens with a sassy but pretty standard version of Sleeping Beauty, which left me going “Meh. If the rest of the book is just fairy tale retellings, I’m not that interested.”

But then it starts a whole new story, still set in a Grimm-type fairy tale land and time but otherwise very different, which got weirder and yet
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Leslie
"Castle Waiting is a marvelous comic in how it has wide appeal. The black and white line-drawing is pleasing and expressive. There is a great deal of humor and the bizarre. The stories, both over arcing and small, are interesting. The most novice reader of tales will be entertained and intrigued. The veteran tale reader will enjoy the scavenger hunt as Medley honors traditional storylines and figures even as she uses them at will—up-cycling, repurposing. Castle Waiting isn’t just feminist, its a ...more
Kapila
Mar 25, 2012 Kapila rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVVVVVVVVVVVVVERYONE!
Recommended to Kapila by: A List.
I L-O-V-E-D this book. I think I might have to read it again right now (something I haven't done since being the youngest of younglings). Had I the money, I would buy a 100 copies of this book to give to friends, and yes, even to throw at enemies - because it might hurt them, tome that it is, but then again, it might also do them some good if they picked it up and read it. I really don't have any enemies but if I did, that's what I'd do. Just letting y'all know.

Oh in the best of books, you see
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Andrea
Oct 06, 2012 Andrea rated it really liked it
"Castle Waiting" tells the story of the inhabitants of Sleeping Beauty's castle, after she has been woken and long ago left. An isolated castle surrounded by the ruin of a town and a high briar hedge, it is a place which has become a sanctuary.

This thick volume is divided into three main portions. A swift retelling of Sleeping Beauty's tale. The arrival of Jain, fleeing her brutal husband so she can bear another man's baby (the baby entertainingly resembles Shrek). Then the story of Peaceful, a
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Rachel
This graphic novel which, in vaguely Chaucer-like structure, tells stories set in a fairy tale world and thick with feminist sensibilities, is clever and engaging, but painfully disjointed, with odd, often disappoint emphasis and an ending that isn't really an ending. I enjoyed Linda Medley's characters and some of her concepts, but I think that practice will give her a better sense of what her readers what in the denouement of a novel - namely, a conflict and resolution for her protaganist rath ...more
Chris
Sep 02, 2007 Chris rated it liked it
Although I know this has absolutely nothing to do with the content of the book, this collection of Castle Waiting is served up in a really lovely hardcover edition that screams to be read. My fiancee normally gives most of my comics a pass, but she picked up the book and loved it, and I daresay that she wouldn't have done that if it hadn't looked so swell.

A revisionist fairy tale, Castle Waiting is a treat. Creator Linda Medley's artwork is wonderful to behold; I don't really get into this sort
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Arun K
Aug 25, 2007 Arun K rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: graphic-novels
I was a little skeptical when I picked this book up at my local library. The cover was beautiful but art really did not intrigue me at first. Nevertheless, the world of fairy tales and folk tales has always drawn me in and so I decided to give it a go.

Of course, having Fantagraphics as a publisher did not hurt its reputation as well.

Linda Medley definitely does show a master storyteller's finesse in working with already existing concepts and turning them onto a side that is comfortable and fam
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Jared Gillins
Jan 05, 2012 Jared Gillins rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this, and I swept through it pretty quickly. It was not at all what I expected it to be when I picked it up to start reading. It starts out as sort of a fractured fairy tale, but then turns into a medium for telling the stories of anyone the author feels like. It's pretty brilliant, really. She's not tied to any plotline or set of central characters--Linda Medley uses the storied Castle Waiting to freely introduce characters and tales as she wishes. There are even storie ...more
Morgan
Jan 11, 2015 Morgan rated it really liked it
Castle Waiting was such a fun book! It had such great characters, beautifully drawn panoramic shots and facial expressions, and a little bit of fairy tale references (speaking of references... do I see Hobbits on page 70??)

I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the book, which was filled with fantasy. But then the second half (the Solicitine chapters), bored me. I didn't connect to the story, or the characters, as much as I did with the first 267 pages. Which is unfortunate, because this had the
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Nikki
Oct 11, 2013 Nikki rated it really liked it
I'm not sure about the comparisons to Tolkien's LotR -- it's a bit too whimsical and episodic for that -- but it certainly does portray the world of women. It's not a quest story, it's a fairytale, and it pilfers indiscriminately from fairytales and literature. I liked the slant put on some of these stories, the gentle humour of them, and the community that forms at Castle Waiting. It's not really a story in which things happen -- it's a story in which people happen.

I don't feel a huge compulsio
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Charlotte
Mar 06, 2013 Charlotte rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, uit-eigen-wil
It's like comfort food in comic book form.

Cons: certain themes (the romani, the Middle Eastern people being saved by Christianity), the art (very clean - a bit too clean), the animal characters (I'm not sure how they work in-universe), the meandering story line (the main character got lost into a stream of side-characters halfway through).

Pros: certain themes (overcoming difficulties by sticking together), the art (very consistent, the style fits the fairy tale theme pretty well), the animal cha
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Tasha Robinson
Apr 04, 2016 Tasha Robinson rated it it was amazing
This series, contained in two volumes, is absolutely marvelous. There's a low-key, unhurried familial quality to the entire story, which takes place at a long-abandoned castle (once the home of Sleeping Beauty) where various misfits and colorful characters wash up. It's a fantasy setting, so there are dwarves and fairies and talking cats and other unlikely creatures, but writer/artist Linda Medley puts her own spin on everything. This is the kind of series where each character has a backstory an ...more
Oriana
Aug 10, 2016 Oriana rated it really liked it
More backlog-clearing on the Jugs & Capes Year of Reading Women (and then forgetting to write reviews about them)!

This book is marvelous. It's an amazingly Scheherezade-ian fairy tale romp full of circuses and nuns and witches and talking pelicans and seducing horses and bearded ladies and demon babies. "Delightful" is really the most accurate word I can think of for this -- you just grin and giggle the whole way through. I can't wait to read the next volume!

(Protip: Grit your teeth through
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MacK
Apr 17, 2016 MacK rated it liked it
It's a thoroughly enjoyable set of stories bound up in one graphic novel blend of fantasy, folk lore, and story telling traditions. While others see a "what happens after 'Happily Ever After'?", I see a far more episodic Canterbury Tales anthology of stories shared amongst friends of convenience.

As I say, there's much to enjoy, but, like Chaucer, there's also much to be desired. Not every take was a hit, and while I kept expecting a single through line to move a unifying plot forward, those who
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Nnedi
Jul 04, 2015 Nnedi rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys a good story
One of my favorite books ever
Story
Feb 03, 2011 Story rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This has to be one of the very best graphic novels yet placed into my hands. Medley's storytelling is deft and engrossing in a way to which I cannot here do justice. It is tender, powerful, inclusive... and wickedly funny. I could rattle off everything which colored me delighted about this volume-- Medley's keen observation of humanity, her wit and sense of humor, the puns, the deliciousness of her slanted fairytales, the voice and dialogue of so many of her characters... but that's a laundry li ...more
Chibineko
Jul 09, 2013 Chibineko rated it it was amazing
After years of planning to read this series, I finally picked this up from the library. I'd been sort of leery about reading this when it initially released due to Castle Waiting always being in some sort of permanent hiatus of one kind or another. I'm sure others probably feel the same hesitation, which is why I'm going to tell you to go ahead and pick it up. It's good enough to where you won't regret it.

The first thing I noticed about this was the gorgeous artwork. What makes this comic fun i
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Kimberly
May 07, 2011 Kimberly rated it really liked it
I first read Linda Medley's Castle Waiting graphic novel as part of an assignment in library school. It was the very first graphic novel/comic I had read in years (the last one before that was probably an issue of Casper when I wasn't even double digits). I wasn't averse to reading graphic novels, and I had long embraced the notion of having them in public libraries as practical and necessary, I just hadn't ever bothered to go find one I thought I would like.

I'm glad I chose Castle Waiting as my
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Jess
Sep 13, 2011 Jess rated it really liked it
I'd heard a lot of praise for "Castle Waiting" & this book did not disappoint in charm. I wasn't pulled in by the artwork, so it took me a few days to actually open the book & get down to brass tacks. The opening story is a (not very interesting) re-telling of the Sleeping Beauty story. Though the story is very told, i noticed small nuances that made the characters seem more relatable than characters tend to be in fairy tale retellings. After Sleeping Beauty is kissed by her prince, the ...more
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
I really enjoyed parts of this. But the part near the beginning — about how gypsies steal and/or buy babies — really?! It kind of ruined this for me. I saw a big pile of remaindered copies of this at a Half Price books and remembered how someone (but not who) had gushed about the setup in my hearing. (Sleeping Beauty is awakened, then rides off into the sunset with the prince, leaving the other denizens of the castle saying "What?") But the "gypsies steal babies" thing kind of ruined it for me.

T
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Jennifer
May 06, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
I've had this book for a few years now. This winter I put it, along with most of our "children's" chapter books on a bookcase at the top of the stairs. Lately, this book started trying to stare me down as I climbed the stairs. Then, when Emma recommended it to me, I finally gave up and put it at the top of my to-be-read pile.

I loved it. Many times I'd sit down on the edge of the bathtub to read a few pages while I brushed my teeth before bed, only to get up half an hour later with a chapter or
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Jenny Schwartzberg
People have been raving about this for the last few years and I finally bought a copy. It is great fun. How to describe it? It was a comic series that was compiled into a graphic novel, but it is definitely a great story in itself with an arc and continuing characters, humor, whimsy, sadness and a lot of metafictional references to fairy tales and other fantasy and children’s novels. Yes, this is a fantasy with both humans and life-size talking animals who live and work among the humans and othe ...more
Sarah
Dec 21, 2007 Sarah rated it really liked it
I grabbed this book from the library on Wednesday when I could already tell I'd be home with the flu the next day. It's a quick and light read, despite the number of pages, and I finished it within a few hours, wanting more. I had figured that the whole thing would be revisionist fairy tales like the first chapter, but I hadn't realized that the volumes were quite so distinct. I liked it more and more as it began to play greater liberties with the conventions of the genre. My only bone to pick w ...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #81 Castle Waiting vol 1 by Linda Medley 1 2 Aug 02, 2014 09:05AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Castle Waiting, Vol. 1 2 3 Feb 17, 2013 06:52AM  
Bearded Nuns 6 46 Mar 01, 2012 01:26PM  
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Linda Medley is the author of the acclaimed Castle Waiting graphic novel, published by Fantagraphics Books. A freelance illustrator since 1985, Linda Medley has illustrated children's books for Putnam, Grosset & Dunlap, Houghton-Mifflin, and Western Publishing. Linda has worked in the comics industry as a penciller, inker, painter, colorist and sculptor. Her pencilling work includes stints on ...more
More about Linda Medley...

Other Books in the Series

Castle Waiting Omnibus Collection (2 books)
  • Castle Waiting, Vol. 2 (Castle Waiting Omnibus Collection #2)

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