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A comic book series published by Vertigo and created by Bill WIllingham

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Superhero comic for people who don't like superheroes

  • Mar 5, 2009
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For some people, the biggest barrier to entry for the world of comics is that fact that, to be blunt, they don't give a crap about superheroes. Well, setting aside the entire traditions of mystery and horror comics, soap comics, manga, historical recreations, hyper-realist comics in the vein of Harvey Pekar , and adventure comics that tread near the superhero line without crossing it (think Tintin ), there's even a genre of fantasy comic that doesn't necessarily rely on the tropes of capes and crooks.

Take Fables , the epic story arc by Bill Willingham that imagines the fairy tale characters -- ALL the fairy tale characters -- marooned in New York City after a mysterious adversary (called The Adversary) has ejected them from their various fantastic homeworlds. Currently collected in 11 volumes of trade (the latest came out this month ), with yet more floppy issues arriving all the time and a five-volume spin-off series to boot , the world of Fables is rich and exciting, with all the visceral enjoyments of a good superhero book sans the superheroes. 

The story starts off slowly, allowing readers to absorb the concept as the Big Bad Wolf (now, reluctantly, in human form to blend in with civilians) tracks down various mysteries at the behest of vice-mayor Snow White (who works for Old King Cole) in a manner similar to Kojak, if Kojak were able to eat little piggies whole. The animals unable to shapeshift are relegated to a farm upstate (yes, an Animal Farm) where shades of a communist revolution do indeed take shape, but, as with so many of Willingham's plots, there's a big twist. 

For anyone who's tired of conventional plots, or who is bored of picking apart the formulas of network television shows, Fables is a powerful tonic, and the most addictive read to come along since the invention of spandex tights.

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April 01, 2009
Are you a fan of either Michael Chabon or Art Spiegelman?
More Fables reviews
Quick Tip by . September 30, 2010
I confess to being a bit late getting around to reading this comic book series, but I'm certainly glad I did. The concept is inspired and Willingham's writing is sharp. The art is solid and well detailed, if a little uninspired at times. I've only read the first graphic novel collection (Legends in Exile) so far, but I'm certainly looking forward to reading more tales from Fabletown.
review by . July 10, 2010
The best part of fairytales is how they grow and change with us.  Willingham and company have done a wonderful job updating our favorite characters to match our modern era.  Their origin stories were only the beginning.  Since the era of once upon a time, the characters went off into new directions, fulfilling their characters in new ways.  Cinderella became a spy and agent of Fabletown when happily ever after ended too soon.  Little Boy Blue from a minor nursery rhyme became …
review by . June 18, 2010
I stumbled upon this fabulous series at my local comic book shop, and as soon as I scanned the first few pages (in order to make certain I liked the art and writing styles), I was enthralled. This lusciously illustrated series centers around an exiled community of fairy tale characters, some of whom currently reside in a community in the middle of New York City and others who live on a farm outside of the city. I immediately fell in love with the characters, who were all cleverly reimagined …
Quick Tip by . June 22, 2010
I love this series. The fairy tale characters you grew to love as a kid, now presented in a delightfully mature reading style - incredibly creative and innovative.
Quick Tip by . June 19, 2010
review by . December 12, 2008
Fables: Legends in Exile
Fables is a fourteen- time Eisner award- winning comic book series that deals with well- known characters from folklore that have been transplanted to modern- day New York.  Some story arcs include: Snow White becomes the Mayor of Fable Town, Cinderella as a Spy, Gepetto creating a massive army of puppets, and the history of the Big Bad Wolf. Never has a single comic book series brought me tears, laughter and so much adventure.   
About the reviewer
Chris Magyar ()
I'm a freelance journalist and magazine editor who just moved to Austin, Texas from Santa Cruz, California. If anyone wants to hit me up with hidden gems (especially tips on where to eat) in ATX, I'd … more
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About this book



Author: Bill Willingham
Genre: Comic Books
Publisher: Vertigo

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