Fables - wow! How did this skip me...?

Just finished reading Fables #1-5 trade paperback, and never know why such a good book missed me.
 
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.
 
How on earth did this skip by me for so many years?

11 Comments
11 Comments
Posted by EisforExtinction

I read the first five issues when it came out and was unimpressed. I heard the later ones were better and I checked them out and agreed but I still never got into it. Seemed too much like the X-Men so I just read the X-Men instead.

Posted by salarymanjam
@EisforExtinction: Lots of people say similiar things. The general opinion is that it heats up from TPB #4, which I will get to sometime.
Posted by Crom-Cruach

Love Fables, highly recommend it to everyone who asks. Bigby wolf is so awesome.

Posted by aztek_the_lost

Personally Fables #1-5 isn't really the beginning I'd expect to such an acclaimed epic...the series has grown so much since then and I love those issues because they kicked off this tale and the story is still relevant. However, I know a lot of people seem to be turned off by the beginning issues of this series which may explain why when DC/Vertigo was re-releasing special editions (one dollar price tag) of premiere issues to epics these past few months that the Fables issue reprinted was actually #6 when with all the other Vertigo comics chosen it was #1. Also of note is the cover of the special edition uses the cover of the second trade rather then the cover of the 6th issue...the point I was trying to make there is I think the publisher knows that some people don't understand the praise when they begin with the first issues. However, I was hooked from the start...read the first 82 issues in trade (and have continued reading in single issue form to this day) and it some of the most fun I've ever had.

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Posted by Korg

The best part is that there is so much of Fables to read... and then there's Jack of Fables! I don't know how Bill Willingham writes all this stuff, but it is absolutely brilliant. 
 
@EisforExtinction said:

"Seemed too much like the X-Men "
As someone who has read X-Men for 15 years, and has also read the first 13 Fables trades, I have to ask: How?
Posted by salarymanjam
@aztek the lost: That's really interesting. I would have never known that #1-5 didn't do that well, but after I read any trade I do try and imagine what this would be like spread out over however many months. Personally I didn't think it slow or boring, but Vertigo must know something we don't so I guess they had to go with what they thought would sell best. Thanks for the info! Lots of catching up to do with this title.
Posted by aztek_the_lost
@Korg said:
" I don't know how Bill Willingham writes all this stuff "
Matthew Sturges
 
actually speaking of which, does anyone else when reading any work by multiple authors ponder about who wrote what? I find myself doing that with things like Jack of Fables, Sandman Mystery Theatre and Good Omens (the novel)
 
I used to wonder if Sturges brought all the douchey humor because Jack Horner wasn't really like that in Fables but maybe that's just Willingham writing Jack how he always wanted to?
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Posted by Korg
@aztek the lost said:
" Matthew Sturges"
Sturges only works on Jack of Fables, IIRC. Willingham is still responsible for most of the work on both Fables titles, as well as the novel he released last year. 
 
@aztek the lost said:
" speaking of which, does anyone else when reading any work by multiple authors ponder about who wrote what? I find myself doing that with things like Jack of Fables, Sandman Mystery Theatre and Good Omens (the novel)"
It's funny you should mention Good Omens, because by the time I read it, I could easily tell which ideas came from Gaiman, and which ones came from Pratchett. It's harder with Jack of Fables, because it's the only book I read that Sturges works on.
Posted by aztek_the_lost
@Korg: yeah, he only works on Jack of Fables although I brought it up because I always wondered if the reason Bill Willingham was credited as a writer was because he owns Fables and he was more of a consultant/editor but honestly I have no idea how that works...Chris Roberson was the sole credited writer of one issue of Jack of Fables but when he wrote Cinderella: Fabletown with Love Willingham was credited as a consultant...either way I like all the Fables stuff but it is intriguing to me who writes what because Jack of Fables has a distinctively different feel from Fables and I know of some people who love Jack of Fables but are uninterested with regular Fables so Sturges must add some special spice to the mix...and Sturges writes House of Mystery, originally that was solicited as Willingham/Sturges as well but for the past twenty issues or so it's just been Sturges with maybe the occasional short story by Willingham (and other writers)...and I really love House of Mystery, especially the later stuff, so that assures me Sturges is a great writer in his own right
 
And you know, Good Omens was one of the first Gaiman novels I read and I've never read a book by Pratchett but I noticed in Gaiman's other novels he had a very unique and fun writing style so if I would re-read Good Omens it's possible I could figure out who did what...but dual crediting for writing just throws me off I guess, I mean when multiple artists do an issue it lists who did what pages but not the same courtesy for writers and I have a hard time believing they always agree on everything
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Posted by Korg
@aztek the lost said:
"I mean when multiple artists do an issue it lists who did what pages but not the same courtesy for writers and I have a hard time believing they always agree on everything "
In the case of a novel like Good Omens, that wouldn't really be feasible, as both Gaiman and Pratchett contribute to the work as a whole on pretty much every page. They actually talk about the experience of writing it in the afterword of the book.
Posted by kaanonm

I just found it too. It's really really good.