Editor Chris Duffy was quite smart about choosing the alt-comics cartoonists for this volume. Nearly all of them had at least some experience with doing all-ages stuff. Both Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez had experienced doing this, especially Gilbert, and it shows in their stories here. Beto's "Hansel and Gretel" is appropriately grisly and weird for a cartoonist who's currently exploring pulp/exploitation comics. Jaime's "Snow White" is appropriate because he's so good at drawing women, though it does inadvertently point out the problem that this story has an astoundingly passive heroine. Stuff just happens to her and she happens to get lucky in the end.
Other highlights include Graham Annable's "Goldilocks", which is told without words and with a deadpan character that heightens its humor, as well as Jillian Tamaki's "Baba Yaga", which eschews the grid entirely to create an open page with two or three images slowly transitioning into each other. Craig Thompson's story about a young king demanding constant storytelling plays to his strengths as an artist who loves to add a lot of detail and decorative elements to his comics. David Mazzucchelli's story about a boy who couldn't shudder was clever but looked a bit on the dull and flat side. Raina Telgemeier's "Rapunzel" was solid as per usual but lacked the distinctive energy and pacing of her own comics. Most of the other stories didn't really make much of an impact on me as a reader one way or another, but Gigi D.G.'s version of "Little Red Riding Hood" was the only story that I thought went out of its way to look twee, like it was trying too hard to look like a story for children. Overall, I thought giving the cartoonists space to really flesh stories out made for a lot of successful results, and even most of the more uneven or forgettable stories were at the very least pleasant. I'll be curious to see if First Second tries to continue to market books to younger readers in the same vein.