Monday 25th May 2015,
Comic Booked

Review: Erstwhile

Comic Booked Guest Writer 07/20/2012 Reviews

By virtue of having grown up in the western world, a lot of us can remember a time when fairy tales governed our lives. Who doesn’t know the story of Sleeping Beauty, Jack and the Beanstalk, or the Bird, the Mouse and the Sausage?

I can hear some of you saying that as familiar as the first two fairy tales there are, you honestly can’t place the last one. The Bird, the Mouse and the Sausage? What’s that about? That is where the enchanting webcomic called Erstwhile comes into play.


There are many tales we could name, many that we have all heard countless retellings of. And all that is reinforced by the many TV shows and movies that have come out recently featuring some of the more common stories. But what about the others? Erstwhile focuses especially on the stories that tend to be overlooked despite how good they are. The tales are chosen from the Grimm brothers’ excellent selection, and each carries with it all the good feel of a childhood favorite with the thrill of new discovery.

To add to the fun, Erstwhile is shuffled among three different writers/artists, who each have a different take on the style of the stories. Some are classic animation and some are manga, though they all are careful to stay true to the original Grimm storybook. The site is updated with a new page on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Stories already available on the site are as follows:

  • The Farmer’s Clever Daughter. This story is filled with royalty, peasants, and riddles! A farmgirl matches wits with a clever (and handsome) king several times before a happy ending can be determined. A great read for a rainy day!
  • A Tale with a Riddle. Exactly what it says. This short would almost be more aptly titled A Riddle with a Tale, since the riddle takes center stage, but it is clever and romantic at the same time.
  • Maid Maleen. A princess is locked up in a castle for seven years to break her love for her prince. When she gets out, is it too late to regain his affection? The answer may not be what you think!
  • The Bird, the Mouse, & the Sausage. A story about a bird, a mouse, and a sausage, and what happens when they decide to switch chores around for a while! This is a most amusing tragedy.
  • All Fur. A runaway princess works as a scullery maid for a handsome young king, who is possessed by a desire to find his mysterious true love.
  • The Little Shroud. A mother mourning for her dead son is surprised when she finds his ghost in the house—and he has a particularly difficult request. Do not read if you want a story ending in “happily ever after”!
  • The Old Man and his Grandson. This is a short story that’s perfect for a quick laugh. A boy catches his parents mistreating his elderly grandfather, and so he pulls a prank to teach them a lesson.
  • Iron Hans. This is the most recent story in the collection. A mischievous boy releases a wild man from the cage, and the man in gratitude takes the boy with him. However, the boy’s mischievousness quickly gets out of hand!


In short, there is already a great story for any occasion, and the collection’s constantly growing! This is definitely worth a look.


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