Ask A Cartoonist: Fairy Tales and Nursery Rhymes

By Tea Fougner

Happy October, everyone!

As I mentioned on Monday, today is the 30th anniversary of Mother Goose and Grimm, so I thought that in celebration of that important milestone, I’d ask our cartoonists to talk about their favorite fairy tales and nursery rhymes, and how they’ve used them in their comics.

Love all the fairy tales. Tend to use the Frog Princess, Rapunzel, and here Hansel and Gretel. If you check out the Six Chix regularly, you’ll see we all reference fairy tales sometimes. Stephanie Piro probably uses the most princesses.

–Isabella Bannerman, Six Chix

One of my very favorite comic strips is Mother Goose and Grimm and one of my very favorite cartoonists is Mike Peters. He spoke at James Madison University when I was a student there. The year he spoke was also the year Mother Goose and Grimm launched. His talk and our correspondence afterwards was very helpful to me as a young cartoonist. He is one of the kindest people I know. Bodacious congratulations to Mike and Mother Goose and Grimm! This Snuffy strip plays off one of my favorite fairy tales, The Three Bears.

–John Rose, Barney Google and Snuffy Smith

This isn’t a fairy tale, but I thought it might be close enough. It’s my 2010 take on the classic children’s book, “Harold and the Purple Crayon.”’


–Terri Libenson, The Pajama Diaries


–John Hambrock, The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee

I’ve always loved fairy tales. My favorite was the one my mom would tell me every day at 8:45 am before leaving the house… “The Mommy Fairy and Little Prince Do-Good.”
The Mommy Fairy loved her little Prince very much but wanted to be sure he loved her right back. So she would go away and hide for eight hours each day. Little Prince Do-Good had to prove his love for Mommy Fairy by cleaning the house, washing the dishes, doing the laundry, walking the dog, emptying the garbage, taping Oprah, lining up her pills, and screening the phone calls for the scary Creditor Monster. Then, and only then, if Little Prince Do-Good did all these things to show his love for Mommy Fairy, she would come back.

It was years later, as an adult , that I would find out that “Evil Queen Jerky-Face” was really a social worker. Nonetheless, I credit this time for my incredible work ethic.

Oh, and one of DeFlocked’s more popular Sundays was a tribute to Fairy Tales….


–Jeff Corriveau, DeFlocked

–Patrick Roberts, Todd The Dinosaur

Some might say that ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ is not a bona fide fairy tale but as Lewis Carroll himself described it as such, who am I to argue? I used the narrative poem ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’ in the Pros & Cons graphic novel ‘Supposed a Knave.’

–Kieran Meehan, Pros & Cons

This is a common occurrence in my strips, especially in Fastrack given Dethany’s active imagination. This Alice in Wonderland-themed strip is one of the most recent.

–Bill Holbrook, On the Fastrack & Safe Havens

Here’s a case where a BEDTIME story really did it’s JOB! lol!

–Ron Ferdinand, Dennis the Menace

Since his connection to reality is tenuous at best, Zippy’s whole life

–Bill Griffith, Zippy the Pinhead


–Kevin Frank, Heaven’s Love Thrift Shop