Fables: Book One by Bill Willingham

6307040Graphic Novels! Comics! I love them! I’ve seriously adopted this narrative format into my regular reading and hope to never stop. GNs and comics definitely take some getting used to, but it’s so worth the effort. I can’t imagine a life where I would purposefully avoid Fables. That would just be a damn shame.

Welcome to a world where fairy tale and other fictional characters are real. They’ve fled their homelands (think the Emerald City, Narnia, the various and assorted kingdoms of Prince Charming) due to a deadly enemy known simply as the Adversary. The characters who can pass as human live in modern day NYC and the animals/fairies/other blatant non-humans hide away on a farm in upstate New York. Snow White is deputy major of Fabletown and B. Wolf is the sheriff. Wackiness ensues, obviously.

Book One follows two major story arcs. First, Ruby Red (Snow’s sister) has apparently been violently murdered. B. Wolf is on the case. Then the farm up North has a rising rebellion on their hands. The residents there want their old lands back and hate feeling like prisoners even among their own kind. In order to fight against the Adversary, they must first break all the Fable laws and rise up against their own. Goldie and her bears lead the way.

The illustrations were hit and miss for me. They have a superhero comic book feel which isn’t my favorite, but are at least gorgeously colored. What shines is the story telling and all the literary references. I loved how Willingham is able to take the fantastic and bring it very realistically into normal human society. I’m very much looking forward to the next installments. Fables is geekery at its finest and highly recommended to fans of things such as Once Upon a Time!

I read this during the read-a-thon and you should do so next ‘thon as well! So easy to fly through even when your eyelids are drooping.

RATING: starstarstarstar

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10 thoughts on “Fables: Book One by Bill Willingham

  1. I’m excited to read this! I often have trouble following the structure of graphic novels – it almost takes me more time to read one than a regular novel of twice the length – but I love the concept of Fables and so many people have insisted that it’s done really well. Fairytale elements in the real world have been on my mind lately, so I guess this would be just the ticket. Your review has inspired me to find the copy I bought a while ago and finally give it a try.

    • I had trouble too the first few times I read a graphic novel/comic book. I think my first experience was Gaiman’s The Sandman series and it took me forever to figure out the flow. But with more experience I’ve grown way more comfortable and actually enjoying slowing down the reading experience now.

  2. I don’t really like the illustration style in these either, but it does change a bit between volumes because they bring in rotating artists. If you want a GORGEOUS collection, try 1001 Nights of Snowfall. It’s like a bunch of prequel stories to the series, each by a different (hella talented) artist. Amazing book. I love all of the Fables series I’ve read. They’re just so damn clever.

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