Inger, The Girl Who Trod on a Loaf, is almost ready to be sent out! It’s been a long, exciting, nervous process, picking out pages to send in, writing and re-writing the synopsis, and trying over and over again to articulate why this project, why this story.
Again with Bruno Bettelheim: In The Uses of Enchantment, Bettelheim argues that people have favorite fairy tales that appeal to them for psychologically significant reasons. The family situation in the story might be similar to their own, a character’s struggle might be a fitting metaphor for their own, and so on.
I grew up in church, and terrified of Hell. So my first reaction to The Girl Who Trod on a Loaf was horror and disgust. But it stayed with me, and when I wanted to make a fairy tale comic, I chose this one. Why?
Here’s an excerpt from the cover letter for my proposal:
This is a story that needs a visual interpretation, both to balance out some of the horror with beautiful images, and to give parts of the story more weight. The first moral of this story is straightforward: don’t show contempt for good things like bread. But the second part, where a little girl hears the story and prays for Inger to come back, has a complicated moral of its own that is easy to miss. Inger only changes when someone feels sorry for her without mentioning her mistakes and faults. Shame and punishment do not change people, only love does.
What’s more, in most stories about Hell, its existence is justified, or rationalized, and there is no room for the reader to condemn divine justice. In this story, however, the reader who is horrified at Inger’s treatment in the story is immediately supported by one of the characters. This is an easy part to overlook. I want to give Inger’s redemption visual representation, beautifully drawn and beautifully colored, both for the reader, and for myself.
Go, go, Inger!