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Fee Fi Fo Fum – Classics Illustrated Junior #507, “Jack and the Beanstalk”

May 7, 2011

Most of the Classics Illustrated efforts are stilted, and the Junior variety are no exception. They are, however, a bit more tolerable in that you’re mostly dealing with venerable fairy tales, not listless retellings of seminal moments in Western literature. The former I can roll with, but the latter I find tepidly underwhelming.

In skimming through this, I was struck but either how much I’ve forgotten Jack and the Beanstalk or how little I knew of it in the first place — read here if you want more on its origins. I think my only exposure to it growing up may have been this classic (and still funny) Bugs Bunny/Daffy Duck cartoon:

This adaptation (Art: Alex A. Blum) covers all the storytelling bases that you’d expect it to, despite switching the (I guess) original motivation of Jack stealing back from the giant what was stolen from his father to Jack stealing back what was stolen from a knight. You have the (at first blush) worst bargain in history:

You have the surprise of the next morning:

And you have one of the greatest catchphrases ever:

I’d also like to thank the anonymous original (probably a kid) owner of this book for not taking his Crayolas to this image on the inside of the back cover:

There’s not much one can say about these, and I mean that in a neutral sort of way. And that about says it all.

I’ll leave you with this, perhaps the best use of “fee fi fo fum” in any context anywhere anytime, one that somehow weds it to Hulkamania, fault lines, ocean floors, Donald Trump and the dog-paddle — it really gets cooking about halfway through:

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