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Fables Vol. 14: Witches Paperback – December 7, 2010
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From Fables Vol. 14: Witches
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Continuing from where The Dark Ages (2009) left them, the scattered Fables of ruined Fabletown in Manhattan prepare for the onslaught of the superbaddies unleashed by the downfall of Geppetto’s empire. In this arc, one of that baleful number, Baba Yaga, seems to be handily dispatched by humble Bufkin the flying monkey. The volume ends with a shorter tale set in Haven, the utopian kingdom of the formerly frog prince, Flycatcher. A well-executed, congenial arc to begin an acquaintance with the Fables and decide whether to go forward from here or from the very beginning, in Legends in Exile (2003). --Ray Olson
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It's not that I dislike them . . . at least not at this point--I don't have enough experience to definitively state my feelings one way or another. *shrugs awkwardly*
BUT. I've been curious for awhile, and this seemed like a good place to start. I <i>do</i> like pretty pictures, and, hello, <i>fables</i>, so practically guaranteed to like it.
So I one-clicked, then I read the whole thing in a couple hours. I loved it. A LOT.
In this first volume, there was Snow White and Rose Red (one of my childhood favorites), a sword-wielding Cinderella, Prince Charming (at least twice divorced, and a frat boy, dumb dumb, besides), Beauty and the Beast (bickering like an old married couple), a typically creeptastic Bluebeard, Jack of magic beans fame (and a schmoe), a reformed . . . <i>ish</i> Big Bad Wolf, one of the three little pigs (who doesn't like country life), and an understandably angsty Pinocchio (b/c three-hundred+ years old, and stuck in the body of a pre-pubescent boy).
And that's just off the top of my head.
ALSO, this series predates <b><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1843230" target="_blank">Once Upon a Time</a></b> and all the bandwagoners that followed by a decade. So no copycats here, FYI.
After 120ish pages of pretty pictures and dialogue that rarely crossed over the line from basic to clever (or one of a myriad of other adjectives that can be used to describe writing that isn't BLAH), there were a handful of full text pages that gave a rather fantastical accounting of how the two MCs met.
Those six or eight pages were by far my favorite part of the book.
That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the rest of it--I did. But WORDS, man, WORDS. I don't know what it says about me that words are the more effective communicators, but yeah, all of that <i>"a picture is worth a thousand words,"</i> nonsense is . . . nonsense.
Despite an overt admission of attraction from one of the characters to another, and the various illustrations that accompanied it, it was the subtle longing revealed through words that made me feel the agony of unrequited love more potently than any drawing ever could. The possibility that a beast decided to take human form in order to be closer to the girl whose scent he couldn't forget . . .
<i>Maybe</i>. Then again, maybe he was just sick of running around in the forest and eating the boring humans who were stupid enough to wander the woods of his lackluster new home. #thatwouldsuck
I guess I'll see. <------b/c it's a given that I'll be reading the next one. *winks* Highly recommended, especially to graphic novels noobs who love fairytales.
<b>UPDATE:</b> since finishing Volume 1, I've devoured an embarrassing number of additional installments, and the dialogue has <i>significantly</i> improved. Sometimes it's punny, sometimes it's slyly clever (especially on the social commentary front), but it's rarely BLAH. FYI.
The author has written a straightforward mystery, but there is irony in the roles the fairytale characters play. The Big Bad Wolf is the private detective hired to solve the murder of Rose Red, party girl and sister to Snow White, assistant to the mayor. Suspects for the murder are Bluebeard and Jack the Giant Killer, Rose Red's boyfriends.
Meanwhile, harassing Snow White for money, Prince Charming is hanging about, flitting from bed to bed while pleading for a loan to tide him over until the time the fairy tale folks decide to fight The Adversary and get their lands back. Snow White regrets that she ever loved the loser, but she arranges for a lottery to be held, the winner of which gets the Prince's title and lands if and when they are able to return to Fableland.
Very cute, and I did not guess who did it!
Fables is always interesting, full of twists and turns and excitement. Though the great Fables war was easily the best, this focuses on the children of Snow White and Bigby, the wolf. This is the kind of thing that Disney could never do. They would never be so brutal with their characters. They want happy endings, but the original fables, handed down through history, do not always have happy endings. Fables understands that. There are times when I get to the end of a plot and realize that it feels like an old story. Fables can be sweet and painful all in one moment, and this latest volume does both.
I'd heard about Fables often over the years, but still really didn't know any specifics. Repeated message was that it was good, and it features fairy tales in a modern day setting. I like retellings and re-imaginings in general, so I left my research at that with the intension of getting around to the series someday.
It didn't disappoint. Legends in Exile is a wonderful introduction to Willingham's refugee "nation" within NYC, and he's populated it with an extensive array of characters with fantastical touches to relatable problems, from the financial to the romantic and beyond. It develops well and the crime investigation (lead by the former Big Bad Wolf in a brilliant bit of "casting") is a solid plot anchor to carry the volume as we learn about Fabletown's setup, it's residents, and why they've ended up there.
I enjoyed this a lot and there's practically unlimited potential here for future stories. The one big advantage of waiting so long to check this out is there are several more volumes already published and waiting for me.
Most recent customer reviews
Pinocchio say what?!Read more
The artwork is okay, but there is a good amount of content here. Especially with the story at the end of the book.