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Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall Paperback – March 5, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo; 2.4.2008 edition (March 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401203698
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401203696
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Probably the smartest mainstream comic going, Fables usually concentrates on the contemporary activities of characters from children's stories who now are living as secret refugees in New York. This collection gives glimpses of their individual backstories before the armies of the brutal Adversary drove them out of Fairyland. Readers will learn, for example, what spoiled the Big Bad Wolf's disposition and what happened to the witch after Hansel and Gretel pushed her into the oven. It would be relatively easy to do clever, merely cynical readings of the fairy tales, but Willingham is after something much more interesting. Like Neil Gaiman and Tanith Lee, he's reimagining the old stories, trying to see why they have survived and also to point out the aspects they somehow neglect: it's only natural that Snow White would take revenge on the seven little rapists who abducted her, but the independent way she goes about it casts doubt on her subservient relationship to Prince Charming. Willingham reminds readers of how much they ignore in their anxiety to believe that all stories end happily ever after. Artists like Charles Vess, Mark Buckingham and Jill Thompson work up to the level of the perceptive scripts, making this a memorable, uncomfortably amusing treat. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

A volume full of backstories about the fairy- and folktale characters who figure in the hit comic book Fables gets the kind of classy treatment success merits. Every story in it is drawn by a different artist who shows off his or her distinctiveness in manners ranging from traditional comics realism and photo-based naturalism to Maxfield Parrish-Howard Pyle sumptuousness and a panoply of caricatural styles. The book is painted throughout, and it's debuting in hardcover. But is it any good? In a word, yes. From latter-nineteenth--century Fabletown in Manhattan, Snow White is dispatched to the Arabian sultan's court in the homeland to enlist his support in the fight against the Adversary, who drove the European fables into exile but hasn't yet threatened the Middle Eastern contingent. The ruler entraps her, and she must, a la Scheherazade, tell him the primary contents of the book to stay alive while wooing his cooperation. The stories are both clever and psychologically explanatory of the characters as they appear in the ongoing, contemporarily set Fables story. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Bill Willingham never fought a desperate and losing battle in a good cause, never contributed to society in a meaningful way, and hasn't lived a life of adventure, but he's had a few moments of near adventure. At some point in his life Bill learned how to get paid for telling scurrilous lies to good people, and he's been doing it ever since. He lives in the wild and frosty woods of Minnesota.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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This story is a bit of a prequel to the series.
Jason Gruss
And like Scheherazade Snow White postpones the inevitable by telling a new story each night.
Robert Moore
This is fine as a stand alone, but a definite MUST read for fans of the Fables series.
D. Morgan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Tom Knapp VINE VOICE on December 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Once upon a time, long before the events of Bill Willingham's ongoing "Fables" series, Snow White was sent on an embassy on behalf of Fabletown to seek an alliance with the Arabian nations. Once there, she found herself trapped by the sultan and scheduled to be married, bedded and executed, all within the next 24 hours. Snow, cunning thinker that she is, distracts the sultan with a story, and her subsequent stay of execution draws out longer and longer as she spins tales of fables behind the fables.

Charles Vess, one of my favorite fantasy artists, provides the book's foundation, working with Michael Wm. Kaluta to give brilliant, highly detailed and colorful life to Snow, the sultan and his fantastic court. Each of Snow White's stories features the work of a different artist, and the differing artistic styles provides eye-pleasing transitions between tales.

This book is certainly intended for mature readers; youngsters are probably not ready for a naked Snow White, the ugly truth about her time with the dwarves or the fate of the Frog Prince's wife and children. But for adults, whether or not they read the Fables series, this is a masterwork of prose and artistic storytelling. Set apart from the regular series and yet deeply grounded within it, "1001 Nights of Snowfall" is a richer, fuller, more satisfying collection than anything the series has yet produced.

Scheherazade herself should envy this treasure trove of stories. I only regret the book held only a handful and not the full set of 1,001. This is easily one of the best graphic novels of the year.

by Tom Knapp, Rambles editor
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Eric Oppen on October 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This long-awaited addition to the _Fables_ lineup gives, along with a framing story based on the _Thousand and One Nights,_ background on many of the best-known Fables...as well as some that we haven't met yet. We find out why Snow White is so touchy about the dwarfs, what really happened to Flycatcher's family, why Bigby hates his father and the story of Frau Totenkinder...and that's just the most well-known of the Fables whose backstories are presented.

The art is by a stable of guest artists, including James Jean, the Fables cover artist, who does a spectacular job illustrating Flycatcher's story. All of the art is good, and some is better than that.

If you're a Fables fan, you'll definitely want this book. It may not be the best place to begin for a Fables newbie, but once you've gotten to know who is who, you'll definitely want it.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Aron Biro on January 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The only reason this doesn't get a full 5 stars is that it cannot be read as a standalone collection of stories, as i thought. You cannot use this volume as an entry point to Fables. Essentially, it's a series of flashbacks regarding the origins of some characters from the Fables series, masked as 1001 arabian nights "frame stories" told by Snow White during her imprisonment in arabian territory.

So, as any prequel, it should be read after 2-3 TPB volumes of Fables otherwise it's just like watching the flashback parts from Lost episodes without the events happening on the island.

On the bright side, it has some of the greatest art in comics i've seen and the variation makes it even greater. This is the kind of comics that i find perfectly crafted: a single writer for story consistency and a variation of illustrators to provide different perspectives on the same characters.

It also got some awards so it's a warm recommendation but as i said, only after getting acquainted with the characters whose origins and dark secrets are presented here.

Warning: don't buy this for your kids even if it looks shiny and contains pictures of Snow White, Prince Charming and goblins. Fables is a series for mature readers, with mature (even sexually oriented) themes dressed in a fairytale form and it achieves that without falling into parody or mockery (which makes it great). It walks the same path as the works of Neil Gaiman or Roger Zelazny with a stronger mainstream appeal (meaning that you don't have to read volumes of mythology and classic literature or to buy companion books in order to understand all the references).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jason Gruss on December 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Originally, fairy tales and fables were gore-filled, fantastical stories with dire warnings and messages. What if all those stories were real?

The world of fairy tales and "Fables" is the backdrop for this collection. Prince Charming really married Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella (didn't you know it was the *same* Prince?). Snow White escaped not only the evil Queen of her own story, but she had to flee from a greater menace, "The Advesary". This evil tyrant has chased all of the European fables out of their own worlds, and into ours.

This story is a bit of a prequel to the series. As such, this book reads very easily on its own. Personally, this was my first book in the series. Although there are several trade paperbacks of the Fables comics out now (seven as of this writing with #8 soon on its way - we hope!), none of those are needed at all to enjoy this book.

In this story Snow White is sent from the exiled world of the European Fables to the world of Arabian Fables. Her goal is to speak with their ruler and join forces against "The Adversary". Through her efforts to gain the support of the Arabian King this story unfolds. This book is a collection of stories from the European Fables. We learn much more about many of the faces familiar to those reading the comics.

Whether you are a fan of the series, a fan of fairy tales or fables, or looking for a graphic novel that tells a rich, layered story with great depth and beautiful art - this book is for you!
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