Papercutz has landed rights for Scottish duo Metaphrog’s feminist graphic novel retelling of the Bluebeard folktale.
The New York publisher landed world English language rights for Bluebeard: A Feminist Fairytale, which will be distributed in the UK through Diamond Book Distributors and most library suppliers.
The 176-page book will be released on 5th May 2020 and has already garnered praise from peers including The Walking Dead’s Charlie Adlard, who branded it “perfect in every way”.
Its synopsis explains: “Award-winning duo Metaphrog transform the classic folktale into a feminist fairy tale, about the blossoming of a young child to womanhood striving for independence. Eve spends an idyllic childhood of long summer days with her sweetheart Tom, and together they dream of exploring the world. But that dream is soon shattered as she comes of age. The mysterious Bluebeard is looking for a new bride and has his sights set on Eve, and rumour has it that his former wives have all disappeared. What will Eve find in the castle beyond the enchanted forest? A forbidden chamber, a golden key and the most terrifying secret, take on a new life in this gothic graphic novel.”
Metaphrog are artist Sandra Marrs and writer John Chalmers, winners of the Sunday Herald Scottish Culture Awards Best Visual Artist 2016. They have received multiple Eisner Award nominations and critical acclaim for their Louis series of graphic novels.
They said: “Bluebeard is one of the darkest fairy tales and resonated with us when we were children because of this darkness. It felt necessary to create a feminist retelling and so we developed our heroine’s backstory to highlight her struggles in the patriarchy. We hope the result is a compelling, suspenseful read. Bluebeard is seldom seen in children’s books nowadays and has never been adapted into a graphic novel, and we wanted our version to appeal to adults and children alike.
Bluebeard, supported by Creative Scotland, is Metaphrog’s third fairy tale adaptation with Papercutz after The Red Shoes and Other Tales and The Little Mermaid. Both were supported by the BookTrust and Scottish Book Trust.