Snow White, Macy's and the Great Depression

A review of Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan

This is a stunning Art Deco version of Snow White set in Manhattan during the Great Depression.  It.  Is.  Gorgeous.

The graphic novel opens with Snow and her mother frolicking in Central Park.  The mother collapses and the reader sees blood in the snow.  Snow's mother never recovers, leaving the young girl and her father heartbroken and bereft.  We witness the subsequent marriage of Snow's wealthy and widowed father to a Ziegfeld girl and Snow packing for boarding school.  Snow's father grows increasingly isolated, his estate at risk as the markets crash.  The Ziegfeld stepmother obsessively watches the stock market tape and reads hidden messages regarding her beauty, wealth, and rival for "fairest of the land" and decides that both father and daughter must go.

The story of Snow White is not a new one, but this setting and artwork is a welcome twist.  Snow's band of seven is comprised of little street urchins and her prince a detective. Her glass coffin: the Macy's display window. The details are impeccable and unexpected.

This is a satisfying addition to the fairy tale genre as well as an exquisite graphic novel.