Illustrations – Studio DICE
Colours – Gianluca Papi
I read Belle’s Tale, the companion to this story, first and it didn’t live up to my expectations, so they were much lower when I began reading the Beast’s perspective. Although I have historically focused most of my attention on Belle’s point of view (her reading habits are so relatable), being able to see things from the Beast’s was a refreshing change.
Sure, it’s still a story of an angry young man imprisoning a bookish young woman, who then falls in love with her jailer… And this manga-style graphic novel is based on the live-action adaptation that I couldn’t get into instead of the animated one that I was obsessed with as a kid. And Mrs Potts is just as creepy here as she was in Belle’s Tale.
But I quite enjoyed this one. It includes some of the Beast’s backstory and his thoughts on how his life has played out so far.
While Belle’s story was coloured in tones that matched her optimism, the Beast’s story begins as dark as his moods and gradually brightens as Belle’s impact on him grows.
The proportions are variable. When the Beast first captures Belle’s father, the Beast looks colossal. I don’t claim to understand art so this may be a way of highlighting the Beast’s power, but it looked odd, especially when compared to the next page where the proportions are more realistic.
I absolutely loved the front covers of the two tales, which joined together form a single image. It works both from a marketing perspective and a visual one. I know I’d have to buy a matching set.
The cursed (and I use this term lightly) object I most need in my life is the book that takes escapism to a whole new level.
Thank you so much to NetGalley and TOKYOPOP for the opportunity to read this graphic novel.
Once Upon a Blurb
In Disney’s live-action film Beauty and the Beast, Belle, a bright, beautiful, and independent young woman, is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realise the kind heart and soul of the true Prince inside. Dark, cool, muted colours show the Beast’s pessimistic view of the world in this full-colour manga-style graphic novel, which explores the Beast’s struggle as he tries to move on from his past and learn what it is to love.