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Fables   —   Comic Books

I started reading the comic book, Fables, a little over a year ago. Drawn in by the breathtaking art and compelling story idea, I picked up the first collected volume and read it through at breakneck speed. Fables, written and created by Bill Willingham, is a comic book featuring beloved characters of well known folk lore and fairy tales (who refer to themselves as "Fables"). But these characters aren't what we remember them to do be when we were young. Instead, Fables offers a slightly different take on those magical and mythical worlds and its occupants and gives them all a real-life twist. The foundation of the story goes something like this - The Fables have been forced out of their Homelands by an unknown and mysterious enemy known as the Adversary. They have traveled to our world via magical portals and formed a secret community in New York City known to them as Fabletown. The Fables who are unable to blend in with human society (such as monsters and talking animals) live at "the Farm" in upstate New York.

From here we launch into a journey of war and revenge as the Fables decide to finally take the Adversary on in order to free the remaining enslaved Fables and to reclaim their homelands. Within this journey are countless stories of love and loss, redemption, discovery, deceit, and brave adventure. We discover what kind of woman Snow White turned out to be. What ever happened to The Big Bad Wolf. The ups and downs of Beauty and the Beast. How many wives Prince Charming really had. And that infamous cursed toad. The cast of characters is vast and their personalities complex. The roads that Bill Willingham has taken with these stories and characters has been surprising and with every volume that I have read (going on 12 volumes now) my heart swells and races with each page I turn. And did I mention the art is gorgeous? My eyes dance and marvel over every panel, every shadow and texture of color. The artist has made these characters recognizable but weathered. Rarely do we see the pale-skinned perfection we've come to see in Cinderella or Snow White, instead their faces reveal a life long-lived, unimaginable hardships and journeys traveled. But their beauty remains, as is their nature and their lore, and Fables stays true to what we know of their past stories. It simply tells us what came after, and at times, what came before.

And as with most of the comic books I read, Fables is not for kids. Its pages are heavy with battle and bloodshed. There are evil Emperors, tales of rape, foul language, sex, and enslavement. There's even a character named Colin who is a decapitated pig head on a pike.

Fables even deals with social and political topics such as segregation, mixed marriages, death penalties, government, the difficulties and sacrifices of war, the importance of neighboring allies, the transfer of power, and the aftermath of dethroning. It is by and large my favorite comic book on the shelf and since I only read it in its collected form (which is published every 4 or 5 months) with every release of a new Fables book there is a small celebration that takes place in my belly and in my veins, my skin tingles and my eyes light up and I do a little dance and very likely sing a silly song that may go something like - I love Fables it's so great, it makes my heart palpitate! The journeys that they take me on, is probably what prompted this silly song! I love Fables it's so fun, it makes my legs just want to run! Down a hill and up a creek! All over a land that sure looks bleak! Sometimes in the stories when people die, I hang my head and my eyes cry. I wonder why, why did he have to go? When clearly he was good and they loved him so! But I don't linger and I don't fret, cause Fables soldiers on like a wounded pet! I love Fables I love it best, I hold the book tight close to my chest! Weeee! Fables!

And now you know what a dork I am. Welcome to the party.

Posted 8.14.2009 7:38:34 PM

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