As a little girl, I loved fairy tales and folklore — Snow White, the Big, Bad Wolf, Pinocchio, Three Blind Mice, etc. I also fell in love with other worlds such as Oz and Narnia. Whereas I don’t watch the Disney movies as much anymore, I read those tales, with an adult spin, in “Fables.”
Fables was the first comic that I read, the first that really got me into this style of reading. Do you remember Price Charming, Rose Red, the Three Bears, the Snow Queen or Sindbad? They all make appearances and have story lines, including hundreds of other characters you might or might not remember from childhood.
But the difference between your childhood tales and these is they have a distinctive adult twist, with love affairs, scandal, wars and death. The fables also are dependent on their story lines from “mundies” (humans) as one way to stay alive.
The Fables had been forced out of their Homelands by “The Adversary,” who has conquered the realm many years before, and formed a community in New York City known as Fabletown. The fables who are unable to blend in with human society (such as monsters and anthropomorphic animals) live at “the Farm” in upstate New York.
The series, which is now past 100 issues and into its 16th trade paperback collection editions, tells the tale as the Fables try to beat their enemies (they have many of them) and continue to live in a world that is slowly killing off fantasy.
The comic series has grown to much fame, winning 14 Eisner Awards, with the artists winning an additional 14 Eisner Awards. Prominent review site IGN has called it “the best comic book currently being produced.” It has launched Bill Willingham, the creator, into comic book fame. Mark Buckingham, a British comic book artist known to have worked on Marvelman, also has gained much popularity for his drawing style for Fables.
I recommend this series to every comic book reader, whether you already love fables and folklore or you are a tried and true Batman/Superman/Spiderman fan. It definitely identifies to everyone’s taste and I think that’s what makes it wildly popular. No. 16, Super Team, is out now, and most comic book stores have past issues that can get you caught up quickly. Perfect for a last-minute holiday gift.
Comic Book Wednesday is a new feature that will showcase a variety of visually based books that fit into this wide category, to give a taste of this other form of reading.