Metaphrog’s latest hardback adaptation of a Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, The Little Mermaid, is being released by American publisher Papercutz today. A follow up to 2015’s The Red Shoes And Other Tales, The Little Mermaid is written by John Chalmers and illustrated by Sandra Marrs, the Franco-Scottish couple who make up the Metaphrog team.
The Little Mermaid lives deep under the sea and longs to see the world above. When at last she is allowed to rise to the surface at the age of 15, she falls in love with a young prince. In order to become human and to be with him, she makes a dangerous pact with the Sea Witch.
First published in 1837, Hans Christian Andersen’s original tale is perhaps now best known through its loose adaptations by Disney in 1989 and the live action Splash in 1984 featuring Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah. However Metaphrog return to the original version of the tale for their 76 page full colour adaptation which shows off John’s writing skills in overcoming the challenge of a mainly mute lead character and Sandra’s lusciously colourful artwork.
Since The Red Shoes was published, Metaphrog have won the Best Visual Artist category in the Sunday Herald Scottish Culture Awards in 2016, and continue to be supported by Creative Scotland, the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland. John told us, “Thanks to the support of Creative Scotland and the success of our previous book, we were able to really sit down and immerse ourselves in all of Andersen’s work. We were drawn to The Little Mermaid because of its spiritual undertones and universal themes. That feeling of being trapped in one world while longing for another and searching for one’s place in the scheme of things are as relevant now as 180 years ago.
“The aquatic environments also allowed my partner Sandra Marrs a chance to stretch her artistic muscles. The Red Shoes is a very earthbound book, while this one is full of sea and air, something that’s reflected in the colour palette and general tone of the book.”
Creative Scotland is also supporting Metaphrog as they undertake a Canadian and American signing tour next month which begins with a talk and signings at the Toronto Comic Art Festival over the weekend of 13/14 May 2017. British fans should not feel left out as they will be appearing at an event at GOSH! in London on 28 June and as well as already being confirmed for both Thought Bubble in Leeds in September and the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in October.
• Buy The Little Mermaid from Metaphrog on amazon.co.uk – using this link will help support downthetubes
• There are more details of all Metaphrog’s work on their website
• There are more details of The Little Mermaid on the Papercutz website