Fables: Animal Farm is part of a series of comics about fairy tale characters who are living in exile from their homeland and have formed a secret community in New York. Animal Farm is volume two in the series. I posted about volume 1: Legends in Exile here.
In this second volume Snow White and Rose Red visit the Farm in the hopes that this time away might reconcile them. The Farm is the place where all the non-human fairy tale characters live, since they cannot mix with humans in the city. When Snow White and Rose Red arrive, they quickly find out that revolutionary thought has spread far and wide on the farm and they quickly become entangled in the uprising of the farm animals, led by the Three Little Pigs (among others, but these are surprises I do not want to spoil).
Like the first volume, Fables: Animal Farm was a joy to read. There is something about seeing familiar characters appear in a new setting, watching the story unfold, knowing you will probably be surprised when you turn the page, and discovering small literary references (an example being George Orwell’s Animal Farm). These comics are fun to read, and I can’t help doing so with a growing smile on my face despite the violence that makes an appearance.
I also think I liked the artwork better in this volume. When I mentioned in my post about Legends in Exile that the muscular men /voluptuous women bothered me a little, many said that the artwork would continue to get better throughout the series. It might be that the enjoyment of discovering the twists and the surprise appearances of well-known fairy tale characters in different guises kept me from noticing, but it definitely bothered me less this time.
I think it is mostly the last few pages of Fables: Animal Farm that I will remember. The different progressing storylines for Rose and Snow (trying to avoid spoilers here!) and the way they were linked to the power of story and memory was both melancholy and beautifully thought out, I think.
There is something though that does not quite sit right with me. I recently looked up Fables on wikipedia and came across the statement by Willingham that he is fervently pro-Israel in the Palestine/Israeli conflict and that the story was meant as a metaphor for that conflict. Even though he notes that the series was not meant as a political tract, I could not shake the discomfort when I read lines about “the Homelands” and “the Adversary” after reading about the metaphor. I am not necessarily pro-Israel (although that does not automatically make me pro-Palestine, I just don’t know). I think it is a complicated conflict that probably deserves a more complicated metaphor than words that create such a stark duality as “Homelands” and “Adversary” (note the capitals used in the comic which, in my opinion, makes the contrast even starker). For me, it is not so much a question of who you are for or against, but more about the black and white, which, particularly when linked to real world politics, just seems to deserve a little more grey? I do not know how the rest of the series will play out, and I do not want to let the politics get in the way of how much I enjoy these comics, but I felt I could not avoid noting it down.
Other Opinions: Things Mean a Lot, Book Zombie, everyday reads, Beth Fish Reads, FyreFly’s Book Blog, Dogear Diary, Sophisticated Dorkiness, The Sleepless Reader, Whimpulsive, Scuffed slippers and wormy books.., Experiments in Reading, Ela’s Book Blog, Bold. Blue. Adventure, Eclectic / Eccentric, Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review.
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