Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fables, Vol 2: Animal Farm by Bill Willingham

As I mentioned when I reviewed the first book in the Fables series, my library doesn't have any of these graphic novels on the shelf so I am having to get them through inter library loan. That means that I can't renew the books like I normally do so I should be reading one of these every six weeks or so which is a little less gap than I tend to have between books in a series usually.

Lucky that is no hardship!

Animal Farm is the second book in the Fables series, and it clearly takes the George Orwell classic as inspiration.

Whereas the first book in the series focused on those characters who were able to pass as human and who therefore could live hidden in plain sight in New York in a community known as Fabletown. They are able to live relatively normal lives.

Unfortunately for those who can not pass as human their lives are somewhat more restricted. They live in a community on a farm in upstate New York. There are spells that keep the community hidden from outsiders to protect them, but that means that they are stuck only within the farm area. Such restrictions of freedom can, and this time does, mean that there are many people/animals who want to see change and will go to just about any length to achieve their aims.

The story starts when Snow White realises that Weyland Smith, the caretaker of the farm, seems to have disappeared and she packs her sister, Rose Red, into the truck and heads up to the farm for one of her regular twice yearly visits . Rose Red is still officially on probation after the events of the last book and Snow is hoping that a trip to the country might help mend the fractured relationship between the two sisters.

It doesn't take long to realise that something is wrong at the farm, and that the leaders are not necessarily who you would expect! And having Snow turn up during the midst of the uprising is a bonus as it will definitely help gain the attention of the city people if they have Snow as a pawn.

Snow needs to work out who she can trust, who is in charge, why Rose seems to have gone all militant, what the long term goals of the uprising are and how she can get away from the predicament she is in before they decide that she is expendable.

The range of characters is once again immense with familiar names like Brer Rabbit, Shere Khan, Reynard the Fox, the three little pigs, a very anti authoritarian Goldilocks and the three bears and so many more picking which side they are on! It was also very interesting to get a small glimpse into the emotion that is at the very heart of Rose Red's antagonism towards Snow White.

Once again, the story is fun although it probably leans a little to the gory side (poor Colin), and the art is amazing! I am really looking forward to reading volume 3 which is titled Storybook Love.

Art by Mark Buckingham and Steve Leialoha

Rating 4/5


Ever since they were driven from their homelands by the Adversary, the non-human Fables have been living on the Farm -- a vast property in upstate New York that keeps them hidden from the prying eyes of the mundane world. But now, after hundreds of years of isolation, the Farm is seething with revolution, fanned by the inflammatory rhetoric of Goldilocks and the Three Little Pigs. And when Snow White and her sister Rose Red stumble upon their plan to liberate the Homelands, the commissars of the Farm are ready to silence them -- by any means necessary!

Collecting the second story arc of creator and writers Bill Willingham's acclaimed series FABLES, ANIMAL FARM feature the stunning artwork of penciller Mark Buckingham and inker Steve Leialoha, and includes a special sketchbook section of preliminary artwork from Willingham, Buckingham, and cover artist Jeames Jean.
I read this book as part of the Once Upon a Time VI challenge.


  1. That cover is very graphic. Glad you enjoyed this one. I plan to take a closer look at graphic novels.

    1. It is a very interesting area to look at, and so varied!

  2. Oooh, so v excited for this one -- haven't started the series yet and likely won't before my epic business trip but am v v v v vvvv eager!

    1. I really hope you like them when you do get to start them Audra!

  3. I am glad you are enjoying this series!

  4. I had to keep re-reading the part about Colin, because I was just shocked. And because of the turn of events in the first volume, I persisted in believing that some kind of "trick" would emerge in this volume as well. So even when I finished reading the volume, I had to re-read that part. Gah! The story was certainly interesting though. I've read 4 and am looking forward to 5 now.

    1. Yes, I was completed shocked at Colin's fate too! I am waiting for the third volume to arrive at my library!



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