Friday, May 18, 2012

Fables, Vol 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham

I am not sure how long I have been meaning to start reading the Fables series by Bill Willingham, but it has been a long time - as in probably 3 or 4 years. Many of my favourite bloggers are big fans, but I never did get around to getting any of the books in the series, particularly since my library doesn't have any of them. Apparently, I never did get around to checking the inter library catalogue. I must have seen someone mention it because a few weeks ago I thought to check there, and voila! a short wait later and I finally had this graphic novel in my hands.

Quite frankly, I wish I had of thought to check the ILL catalogue earlier! This book is so much fun. I have already requested the next book in the series.

 This is a fairy tale story, but not as we normally know them. In this world, a group of fairy tale characters have come to live in modern day America because, in their homelands, they were being hunted to the point of extinction by their enemy who is known as The Adversary. For those who can pass as humans there is a home for them in New York, but those with animal form go to live at The Farm, away from human civilisation. There are lots of familiar characters here: Old King Cole, Snow White, the big bad wolf (although he goes by the name Digby now), Jack (of the beanstalk fame), Bluebeard, Prince Charming, Beauty and the beast and more. For some of the characters, life here is easy. They managed to bring their riches to their new life, but for most of them life is a struggle, trying to get by in the mundy world without bringing attention to their otherness.

Our story starts with a mystery. Jack's girlfriend, Ruby Red is missing from her blood-soaked apartment, and so detective Digby is called in to investigate. Her powerful and influential sister, Snow White, is determined to assist him with his investigation. She has been estranged from Ruby for some time, and so there are several revelations along the course of the investigation. Digby has several suspects in mind, including Snow herself. There is chemistry between Snow and Digby straight away, as much as Snow might try to fight it, and I can't wait to read more about the two of them. It doesn't help though that Snow's shonky ex husband, Prince Charming, is in town and is trying to sell off his some of his titles and lands in the homeland to raise some quick cash.

Each year, the fables come together at a grand ball to remember their homelands and their escape from The Adversary and the mayor, King Cole, has made it clear that the case must be solved before the big event, which also happens to be the biggest fundraiser of the year. Can Snow White and the big bad wolf find out what happened to Rose Red. Will Beauty and the Beast be able to make it through the whole evening without fighting about money, and will Prince not-so Charming get his comeuppance?

I think that one of my favourite cameo appearances was that of Pinocchio, destined to be trapped in a pre teen body for ever! Bratty and whiny, and oh so desperate to be able to get laid! Very funny stuff.

One thing to remember with these graphic novels (or are they cartoons given that this is a collection of separate cartoon chapters?) is that whilst these characters are the ones that we know from childhood, this series is one for more mature audiences. There is blood, violence, greed and plenty of flesh on display. The women are drawn voluptuously and the men are often hirsute and muscular!

Not one for the kiddies, but oh so much fun for the rest of us!

Rating 4.5/5

Who Killed Rose Red?

In Fabletown, where fairy tale legends live alongside regular New Yorkers, the question is all anyone can talk about. But only the Big Bad Wolf can actually solve the case–and, along with Rose’s sister Snow White, keep the Fabletown community from coming apart at the seams.
The author of this one is Bill Willingham but the art is by Lan Medina, Steve Leialoha, Craig Hamilton, Sherilyn van Valkenburgh, Todd Klein, James jean and Alex Maleev. Just wanted to make sure I had recorded this somewhere for future reference.

I have finally read another book for the Once Upon a Time challenge! Woo-hoo!

21 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you liked it. They get better and better, or so I think. And I love the humor in the art. I hope your library has them all!

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    1. I haven't checked to see if I can get all of them, but I hope so.

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  2. I do wanna read this one :D Instead I have read like 7,8 or so since that was what the library had :(

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    1. The partial collections at libraries is very frustrating!

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    1. Me too. We know that we are very lucky.

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  4. I'm envious of your library! We ended up buying quite a few of them when Kiddo decided he liked them. I've only read two, but I enjoyed them and plan to read more. Might as well. They're already in the house. LOL

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    1. Might as well read them then, Nancy!

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  5. I do have this first volume, and it is on my shelf just waiting for some attention. I really don't know why I have been waiting for so long to get into these. Perhaps it is because I know an addiction to them may form, and I am trying to restrain myself from giving in and buying too many books. But you make this one sound amazing, and like something that I should get to as soon as I can. Fantastic review today. I need some of this lightness in my life!

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    1. It's a lot of fun Heather, and it would be a very quick read for you!

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  6. This sounds amazing -- I love these kinds of riffs on fairy tales and myths -- I must get immediately!!

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    1. Audra, it was really good and it takes fairy tales and myths and does really interesting things with it!

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  7. I do love how these play with the stories. If you like Pinnochio, you're going to have fun--he gets a bigger part in some of the later volumes!

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    1. Cool! Looking forward to reading more!

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  8. I've never heard of this series, but it sounds really fascinating Marg. I love fairytales!

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    1. It's certainly a fun and interesting take on fairytales!

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  9. Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed the first book! I love how Willingham really thought about the possibilities of happily ever after.

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    1. Yes, ever is an awfully long time!

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  10. Isn't it great fun!? I just started reading this series last year and have only just finished the third volume; I've been trying to space them, to try to make them last, but I've already gotten a copy of the fourth, so clearly my enjoyment of them is escalating. I'm actually starting to think now that I should be collecting my own copies, because I'm already thinking of re-reading! It makes you wish you'd just gotten to it sooner.

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