Forgotten characters reborn on paper and in our minds
Wow! I should have never let this book sit on the comic book shop shelf without getting it. For once, I was perfectly surprised by a comic trade from start to finish.
First off, what a great story to re-introduce some of the most lovable and memorable characters of my childhood. You only have to look above at the list of characters to see that Bill Willingham has made a great effort at writing in some of the richest characters of fable lore into this book. It's large and ambitious in its scope, and it doesn't dissapoint. I was amazed at how so many characters with deep literary-based histories could meld together in one tale, but believe me when I say that Willingham achieves it with such ease, that you would be mistaken for replacing your early memories of these figures with his new tales. From Jack (of beanstalk fame) to Pinocchio, the story winds between lore and mystery to create an all-encompassing world for many western children stories. Think of a Marvel or D.C. universe for children stories - that's Fables.
I am always the last to admit to my friends that I like children stories. Disney, Asterix and other 19th century european tales used to really excite me because they were so fantastical. Fantastic was what I wanted from my reading entertainment. Total and utter removal from my own world for the hour or so I would take to a book was why I loved those tales so much. I remembered reading LotR when I was 12 and it blew my mind, gave my nightmares and shaped my entire teenage reading habits. Disney got me into animation and european old fables brought morals and ethics to life.
Fables is on a par with any of those in terms of a reading experience. It takes some of my most loved tales and characters are brings them right back to the modern period AND makes me remember all those golden oldies all over again. Twists on old themes, that were as much adult as for young people, make this book very easy to read. The tales are written by Bill Willingham and partnered with a great artistic team. This book couldn't be written any better.
Issues #1 to #5 of Fables can be found as a trade paperback, which I guess is the volume of this comic, and the story is completed within these issues. This centres around about 20 or so characters, all "playing" finite roles within Fabletown and the events of the story. I won't go into the story, I don't like spoilers, but you don't need to know it to pick up this book. It really speaks for itself when you take into account that it only has a $10 cover price. Much cheaper than mainstream title trades, you really shouldn't pass this up.
I will be avidly buy one after another until Bill Willingham runs out of tales to tell!