01 April 2010
Book Review: Fables (is flipping fantastic)
Author: Bill Willingham
Buy | Borrow | Accept | Avoid
New York City has its fair share of unusual people, but none more so than the group of refugees comprising a wide variety of fairy tale characters. Forced from their home by a powerful adversary, they have set up an underground community complete with government, which they call Fabletown. But now one of their own is missing, possibly dead, and the Big Bad Wolf is on the case. He is aided by Fabletown's second in command, and the victim's sister, Snow White.
Now comes the point where I gush like a thirteen year old girl. Except screw Edward/Robert Pattinson, the object of my newfound obsession is Bill Willingham, the creator of the Fables graphic novel series. I don't know what he looks like, how old he is, actually, I can't even positively identify that he is a he. But I don't care. I love him. I love this world he has created. And my checking account is in serious trouble as I plan on running out to buy the other twelve books in the series as soon as possible. And from what I understand, more will be following these first 13 books. Be still my geeking out heart!
Okay, to the meat of the matter. First, how much fun is it to have characters from fairy tales and folklore smushed together in a new story? I adore the use of known characters to create new worlds; the combination of familiarity and mystery excites me. Snow White, the Big Bad Wolf, Aslan, the three freaking pigs, Prince Charming, Rose Red, Beauty and the Beast, I could keep going here. It's too cool.
Outside of this, however, Fables has a lot to offer even if you have no freaking clue about the origins of the individuals. The plot-line entertains, the relationships interconnect, the personalities are complex, the artwork is intricate, and the world is believable. If I were to focus on everything I loved about this graphic novel, I would need an entire blog dedicated to it, so I'll try to limit my gushing to what you should know before reading.
Foremost, pay attention to the artwork. I know that I sometimes have a problem doing that with graphic novels; I'm so used to reading text that I skim the images and focus on the words. But in Fables, the minutiae of the story are clearly presented in the pictures, some of which are so unbelievably detailed, I could spend a large chunk of time exploring the frame. I adore details like this in a graphic novel as I feel it helps to develop a world the reader can fall into. A gently curling smoke trail, a clear and bright tear drop, a tensing of the neck muscles, these small intricacies add so much. Then there are frames that just have so many intertwining figures and actions that they present an entire story unto themselves. Wonderful.
Final recommendation: I read this in one sitting and already I'm wondering how I can go about hiding 12 new graphic novels in the house. So I'd say it's a definite need-to-read book.
If I've missed yours, let me know!
Bart's Bookshelf; Fyrefly's Book Blog; A Striped Armchair; Bibliofreakblog;
FTC Disclosure: I bought it. And I'll probably buy the rest of them. Unless someone can convince Bill Willingham to take pity on me and send me the rest. Now, you guys are responsible for keeping authors from bribing us, but you don't have anything to do with it if I bribe an author, right?
Challenges: 100+ Reading Challenge, Reading Resolutions, Graphic Novels Challenge, Once Upon a Time, Hogwarts Reading Challenge,