Sunday, March 6, 2011
Fables - Bill Willingham
The first hardcover edition of Fables covers two separate story lines. The first is the story of Rose Red's murder, and Bigby's investigation. While the plot was well written and interesting, I never really felt like I was reading about folklore characters. Sure they were named Snow White, Jack, and The Big Bad Wolf, but they all looked human, acted human, and could have easily been humans for all I knew. There were brief moments of fantasy, but they ended too soon and left me saying, "That's it??" I enjoyed the story, but really wanted the fables to come alive more than they did. Thankfully, there was a second story line that didn't disappoint. This second story explores the mutiny at The Farm, and the ensuing conflict between city fables and country fables. Here we get the full effect of what got me excited about the series in the first place. Talking pigs, Red Riding Hood packing heat, the tortoise and the hare toting machine guns, and sleeping giants that awaken from hundred year slumbers. You know...the good stuff! Even though it takes a while for Fables to grasp it's true identity, once it does it is a great adventure that really delivers.
Even though Fables is focused on children's characters, this is definitely not a book for little kids. There are several adult themes, some inappropriate language, and occasional violent images. These themes are more obvious in the first story arc, and seem to simmer down as the second arc starts. Seeing as this is a comic I also should mention the artwork. Unfortunately of all the comics I have read lately, the artwork in Fables was among my least favorite. The cover art is absolutely beautiful, but unfortunately it doesn't carry over to the inside. Despite my personal taste I don't feel like it distracted or took away from an otherwise well done series. If you enjoyed nursery rhymes and folk lore as a kid, then you might also enjoy the way they have matured and grown into adulthood with you.