In the frozen forests of old Russia the mother of a small peasant family dies, leaving her husband and her two children, a boy and a girl. The father sends his daughter off to a big town for a finer more refined life than he can give her… it doesn't work out that way though. Little Pine Cone finds her new life hard, cold, and friendless. But don't worry, a magical adventure awaits. This is a fairy story, very much in the style of 19th Century author George MacDonald: magical, with nature spirits, but it doesn't shield you from the sadness of the life of the main character, who we learn about only in third person.
Coincidentally I was listening to Joanna Newsom's album The Milk-Eyed Mender while reading this, which was a great accompaniment, and in the song “Sadie” the lyrics mentioned carrying a “Pine Cone” as the Blue Eyed Hog was doing just that in the story. A nice coincidence!
The art is all hand drawn inked style line work, very free and gestural, in a sort of stylised realism that suits very well to the subject matter. It often includes lovely decorative patterns in the margins that are evocative of Russian folk art or one of the themes on the page. Little Fir Cone is a fairytale picture book, with a gentle, all ages, magical story.
Read Little Fir Cone, by Growler Comix, rated E.
Ozoneocean at 12:00AM, June 1, 2016
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