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Jack of Fables Vol. 1: The (Nearly) Great Escape Paperback – February 28, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Willingham first created a contemporary world inhabited by fairy tale characters in his series, Fables. He continues that success with Sturges, who co-writes this recent spinoff. A new story line further develops Jack Horner's escapades in Hollywood and establishes him as the most dangerous Fable loose in the "mundy"—short for "mundane"—world. Jack is forced into the Golden Boughs Retirement Community, a jail of sorts where Fables are imprisoned until society-at-large forgets about them, thereby diminishing their magic powers. Enlisting the support of Goldilocks and a cage full of fairies, Jack plans the entire retirement community's escape. Willingham and Sturges give Jack a bad-boy attitude, making him an everyman hero that readers won't always identify with, but will enjoy watching flub and fake his way to freedom, complete with clever riffs on the Turtle and the Hare, the Toothfairy, Mother Goose and Humpty Dumpty. Readers will enjoy this more if they first familiarize themselves with Willingham's established Fables world (Legends in Exile, Wolves, etc.). Rated for mature readers, the tale includes sex, nudity, corruption, so it's got a little bit of everything that any sophisticated comics fan will enjoy. (Mar.)
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"* "Funny and engaging; original, too." - Time Out * "Great fun." - Booklist * "Instantly compelling." - Cinescape.com * "Looks as good as it reads." - Comics Buyer's Guide * "Tosses traditional fairy tales down the rabbit hole." - Wizard" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo; 1st Printing edition (February 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401212220
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401212223
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.3 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #719,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Sullivan VINE VOICE on December 5, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All customer reviews posted at the time of this writing would have you believe that if you enjoy Fables, you will necessarily enjoy its spin-off Jack of Fables. Not so fast! I want to encourage you to at least proceed with caution.

I only recently discovered Fables and have quickly read the entire series. I love myth, fairy tales and fantasy and I think the Fables series is wonderfully entertaining (though it arguably features more intrigue and mystery than standard fantasy fair). Bill Willingham's characterizations are believable and endearing, his stories are sweeping and epic, and the artwork and design are remarkable (paneling and layout are unlike anything else I have seen).

Other reviewers note that Jack may be the least likable of the Fables characters in the original series. But whereas he is self-serving and self-pitying in Fables, there was something underneath that made him tolerable if not likable. Yes, he was a jerk, but he was not devoid of all merit. Through the first two books of this series, his jerk factor has really escalated. Perhaps it's just because the focus now resides so squarely on him. Perhaps even more likely it's because these tales are primarily narrated in a first person voice. You get inside Jack's head and thoughts and his arrogance and braggadocio are just overwhelming. He constantly tells the reader how much better he is than everyone (including the reader), he closes each story with a teaser for the next in which he lauds himself and insults the reader or where he tries an infantile trick or insult to get you to read on. Whereas I assume this is supposed to be humorous, it falls completely flat for me. It lacks wit and seems amateurish.

And this brings me to the real problem plaguing this series.
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Format: Paperback
Jack of Fables gets his own spin-off series! I have to admit, at first, I was sort of like, why? But, now I understand. It's because Jack kicks butt! In case you don't know, Jack also goes by Jack of the Beanstalk, Jack B. Horner, Jack of the Tales, and apparently Jack Frost in colder climates.

When we last saw Jack in the Fables comics, he had become a huge player in the Hollywood scene, with fame, money and lots of girls, only to have it all taken away from him by the sheriff of Fabletown, The Beast (from Beauty and the Beast, of course). Left to fend for himself, we meet up with Jack as he walks along a highway with the million dollars Beast let him keep. Suddenly he is picked up with a strange woman and two bagmen (men who are, well, bags, it's weird I know) and taken to a place called The Golden Boughs Retirement community. There he finds Goldilocks (missing from the Fables comics for awhile as well) and other various and sundry fable characters many of whom are very obscure. Someone did their research! Among them are Mother Goose, the Pathetic Fallacy, and a quick little guy called Sam. There are also cameos by Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, Toto, and many others.

There Jack meets a rather nefarious guy called Mr. Revise who runs The Golden Boughs. Mr. Revise's mission is, apparently, imprison fairy tales until the world at large forgets about them, making them less magical. Mr. Revise's sinister intent is to do away with them and rid the world of magic forever

As I said before, I was surprised when they decided to spin-off Jack. Now that I can see where the story is going, I totally understand.
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Format: Paperback
The "Fables" series never ceases to amaze me. The brilliance of Bill Willingham and Co. consistently maintains a level of high quality. The title has the word "(Nearly)" in it. It should be removed. The title should say, "Jack of Fables: The Great Escape".

For those of you not familiar with the Fables universe, here is the premise. The people and creations of folklore (Goldilocks, Prince Charming, Snow White, etc.)really exist. They have been forced into our world after being run out of theirs by the mysterious Adversary. Settling in our boring, mundane world they secretly establish Fabletown. The enclave in Manhattan is for those that are able to appear human. The none-human Fables (Thumbelina, Mr. Toad, the Three Little Pigs, etc.) live on "The Farm" in upstate New York.

Of course the story isn't quite what really happened....

These characters are virtually immortal as long as the "mundanes" tell their tales. In fact the more popular they are, the more difficult they are to kill. One of these is Jack Horner. He's also the guy that grew a magic beanstalk. :-) His character is that of a con man and trickster. By nature he is a jerk.

This brings us to this new series where Jack is the star. He's been exiled from Fabletown because one of his schemes went too far. After being busted, he is hitchhiking when he is kidnapped by a beautiful woman and her non-human henchmen. He is transported to a very comfortable, remote prison camp. In this prison are other fables like Alice, Mother Goose and the mysterious Sam. They are all there so that they may be 'forgotten'.

Well nobody locks Jack up! Thus begins his great escape....

I'd love to tell you more but I would spoil the story.
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