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Hansel and Gretel: 05/01/20
Hansel and Gretel by Neil Gaiman and Lorenzo Mattotti is a graphic novel retelling of the 1857 Grimm brothers' tale. In this version the guilt is shared among all the adults: the parents and the witch. The story is also contextualized to set up the encounter between the witch and the siblings.
The story is introduced with a back story of a happy couple marrying during prosperous times. They chose to live away from the village where the husband can make money as a woodcutter. During this prosperous time, the siblings are born. Then war comes and with it famine. There is no food and there are no jobs.
Rather than sacrifice for their children's wellbeing, the mother thinks only of herself and her husband. She figures there is only enough for them to survive. Even in a post-war era, there are laws against killing one's children. But if they could be somehow lost in the dangerous woods — then their problem would be solved.
The core of the Hansel and Gretel story begins with the second attempt by the father to lose his children. It is at this point that the book settles into the road narrative spectrum.
The travelers are, of course, siblings (CC). Their destination — or their parents' goal for them to be lost — can be restated as the wildlands (99). As with Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire (2018), the route is the cornfield (FF), as represented by the witch's confectionary house. All together, this retelling of Hansel and Gretel is the tale of siblings crossing the cornfield into the wildlands (CC99FF).