Internetz, you have failed me. Or rather, I must have failed at the internet. For how could I not have known about the existence of Fables before Ana told me? How is it possible?
Well, at least Ana enabled me to remedy the mistake. And since I found, and read, and reread for all the details, the first installment in this series of comics about fairy tale characters who are living in exile in a secret society in New York called Fabletown, I definitely want more.
In this first volume, Rose Red has disappeared and her apartment is covered in blood. The wolf, who like all bad fairytale characters has been rehabilitated in this new world, as the sheriff, is trying to discover who made Rose Red disappear. Might is be Jack (of the Beanstalk), or Bluebeard? Or perhaps it is her sister Snow White, who is also the deputy major of Fabletown?
Fables is so much fun! I’m sure I can’t quite articulate why, but let me try: it has great genre bending going on, with nursery rhyme and fairy tale characters in a modern-day detective setting. The drawings are wonderfully detailed with lots of inside jokes that complement the text really well (it pays off to take your time to look at the pictures!). And it is wonderful to see the stories of several characters reimagined, even though this means that their happily-ever-afters will not always turn out to be so happy..
Most surprisingly, there were a few things that I generally do not enjoy, but that I did not mind about this story at all:
- The story and drawings are gritty, not at all like you may perhaps expect from a story featuring fairy tale characters. As these characters are put in a modern setting, they deal with modern problems and modern behaviours – you may expect a lot of sex and violence. Weirdly, this did not bother me.
- The humour is tongue-in-cheek, and at times I felt that it might be trying a little too hard. But overall, it just makes for such a fun read that I wasn’t bothered by this.
- The pictures, as Alex points out, have a somewhat typical style: “muscular men and voluptuous, red-lipped, perfectly-eyebrowed women, dressed in clingy clothes”. This usually bothers me. But again, all the fun made me overlook this most of the time. And it just.. worked in this format.
If, like me, you are desperate to try the series, or really want to read the rest of the series, Kailana posted a great overview of the sequence in which to read the comics. I am desperate to try to find the comics in an affordable way (as they can be quite pricey – and rightly so for all the work involved with the format and production, I guess). Unfortunately, my library only owns the first volume. Perhaps I may persuade them to buy the rest of the series as I have heard the other volumes only get better.
I read and reviewed Fables: Legends in Exile as part of Fairy Tale Friday and my personal Fairy Tale Project. Click over to the hosts of Fairy Tale Friday: Books 4 Learning and Literary Transgressions for more fairy tale themed posts.
Other Opinions: The Written World, A Striped Armchair, 1330v, Old English Rose Reads, The Adventures of Cecelia and Bedelia, Coffeespoons, The Sleepless Reader, Fyrefly’s Book Blog, Beth Fish Reads, Bart’s Bookshelf, eclectic/eccentric, Take me away reading, You’ve GOTTA Read This, Capricious Reader.
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