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Castle Waiting, Vol. 1

(Castle Waiting Omnibus Collection #1)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  6,779 ratings  ·  751 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
Hardcover, Graphic Novel Collection, 457 pages
Published June 17th 2006 by Fantagraphics Books
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  6,779 ratings  ·  751 reviews

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Start your review of Castle Waiting, Vol. 1 (Castle Waiting Omnibus Collection, #1)
Feb 07, 2009 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
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
Jul 08, 2012 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
Seth T.
Nov 22, 2011 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
Nov 25, 2014 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

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
Jason Pettus
Sep 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. 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
May 21, 2008 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
Mar 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
I'm not quite sure how to rate Castle Waiting. On one hand the presentation and art inside are excellent. The premise sounds interesting and it kept my attention for the first third or so of it. But after that it was just like.... nothing was happening at all. Just a bunch of strange occurrences and introductions to more strange characters. I wanted to know what had happened with the pregnant lady and how she got there but it wasn't really explained. And when I flipped through to the end to see ...more
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
Ed Erwin
May 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: didn-t-finish
After 10 chapters, there is still no sign of a plot. I give up.
Nice art and interesting characters, though.
"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
Oct 06, 2012 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
Mar 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: uit-eigen-wil, comics
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
Aug 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys a good story
One of my favorite books ever
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lovely and heartwarming. Starts with a Sleeping Beauty retelling but it's just the prologue to a vastly more interesting story. Most of the later half is character-driven episodes, and I delighted in the characters talking about their pre-Castle lives. ...more
Rachael (RedRchlReads)
5 stars!!

Arun K
Aug 25, 2007 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
Aug 23, 2007 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
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.

Jared Gillins
Jan 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, fantasy
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
Oct 05, 2013 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
Elizabeth Tabler
Mar 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Hands down one of my favorite graphic novels I have ever read. It is witty, smart and wonderful with a great fantasy story underneath. Linda Medley needs to be on more best-of lists for this great bit of writing and graphics.
Rick Silva
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an amazing example of fantasy done without the need for epic battles, and really, barely any battles at all. Beginning as a clever retelling of Sleeping Beauty, Castle Waiting continues the story long after the "happily ever after", describing the fate of the residents of the sleeping princess' castle after she has left for a new life with her handsome prince.

The castle goes one to become a refuge for those in need and for those who don't quite fit in. Two stories then take center stage:
Jul 03, 2013 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
Tasha Robinson
Apr 04, 2016 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
Kimberly Francisco
May 07, 2011 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
Sep 13, 2011 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 book tak ...more
Feb 03, 2011 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
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Which is Which? Help 1 4 May 20, 2020 01:29AM  
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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 both ...more

Other books in the series

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

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