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

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"Fables" for a modern era

  • Jun 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 versions of their traditional counterparts: a serial monogamist Prince Charming who mooches off of his subsequent wives and girlfriends, a Big Bad Wolf turned gruff detective, and so on.  These are no mere fairytale archetypes; each character has a very distinct personality that both expands upon and surpasses their original folkloric figure. And as the series progresses, the characters all gain a satisfying depth along with the expected growth of their roles in the plot.

                The plot itself uses reworked traditions, with a theme of dark versus light, (complete with an evil overlord known as the Adversary).  Matters become slightly more complicated than the typical fantasy novel as several intense subplots are added into the mix. I won’t say anything more on the matter of plot, because I don’t want to reveal too much!

                I want to make it clear that these books are definitely not intended for younger readers!  Mature older teens would be able to appreciate the complexities of the series, but I would be leery of a younger high school student reading it. As the plot grows more intense, so does the bloodshed, and there are references to rape in some of the later books.  However, if you’re the sort of reader who enjoys gorgeous illustrations, a twisting plot, and a gritty yet beautiful writing style, I’d definitely suggest you give it a try!

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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 …
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 . March 05, 2009
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 …
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
Margaret ()
Ranked #1815
Member Since: Jun 18, 2010
Last Login: Jun 29, 2010 10:21 PM UTC
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Author: Bill Willingham
Genre: Comic Books
Publisher: Vertigo

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