After years and years and years of wanting to dive into Fables I’ve now devoured the first volume and wish that I had grabbed volume two while I was at the shop. This book lives up to the hype.
Welcome to Fabletown, an underground society that exists in and around the city of New York (where else?). Fabletown is comprised of the surviving populace of the fairy tales of old (you name it, they got it, there’s even a Narnia reference at one point), driven from their mythic lands by a being known as the Adversary. The people of Fabletown now live under the rules of us normal folk, dreaming of one day reclaiming their homeland.
Now, I didn’t really watch Once Upon A Time, but this sounds oddly similar to it. I’m not accusing anybody of riffs by any means, but for those who, like me, haven’t read this yet and may have enjoyed OUAT, then you might find some entertainment here, too.
It’s so cool. The Big Bad Wolf of three little pigs fame is a human (though he does have a wolf-out ability) and a detective, our main protagonist. Snow White is a cold businesswoman and Jack (the giant-killer) is a washed-up schmuck. It’s that grimy, real-world reflection of our childhood fantasies you come to expect from stories like these, but it’s done oh so well.
This particular volume surrounds the murder of Jack’s girlfriend, Rose Red. It would do no good to spill the beans, because this book plays out a genuine mystery. It delivers the same fantastic thrill of a classic Holmes short, but with a modern touch. It’s not a very long read, but you get your money’s worth, as well as an additional short story at the end.
On that note, Bill Willingham can write. Not only write, but know how to have fun doing it. I don’t know anything else he’s written, but he’s already left an impression. Fantastic job, Bill, you have me begging for more.
Suffice it to say, it’s getting to that time of year that’s filled with tradition and memory. If you’re looking for a break from the superhero genre and something new (with a sprinkle of nostalgia in there), look no further. I know I’ve barely scratched the surface of this series, but it’s already taken up a plot of land in my read pile for sure.
TL;DR Score: The cranky, eternally youthful Pinnochio was probably my favorite bit.