Tuesday, May 6, 2014

REVIEWS: Fables Vols 17-19 by Bill Willingham

Author: Bill Willingham, Illustrators: Mark Buckingham(17,18,19), Gene Ha (18), Joao Ruas(17)
Genre(s): Graphic Novel
Series: Fables
Original Publication Years:
17: 2012
18: 2013
19: 2013

Mini Reviews

Fables Vol. 17 – Inherit the Wind

In Volume 16, Bigby’s father, the North Wind, gave up his life in the struggle against the Dark Man.  Now it’s time to pick his successor and it looks like the most likely candidate will be from among Snow White and Bigby’s cubs.  This was a nicely encapsulated story with some sidebars with Bufkin in Oz and it starts setting up what will likely be the next struggle for Fabletown.  It also starts the story of Snow White and Bigby’s cubs that will begin in earnest in Volume 18.  Things are just going to get harder - no happy endings in these fairy tales.  The Volume also introduces the three other winds and the design and artwork on these is stunning!

Fables Vol. 18 - Cubs in Toyland

First of all, I love how this series brings in all lore without prejudice. There is everything from nursery rhymes and classic fairy tales to The Wizard of Oz.  Volume 18 introduces the Island of Misfit Toys and gives it a downright sinister slant.  In fact this whole volume is incredibly grim, folks.  Really grim.  I was in tears at points and had really uncomfortable and horrified feelings in my chest at others.  Snow White and Bigby’s cubs, those carefree, rascally, adorable, half wolf, half wind troublemakers, have some hard destinies that begin to get meted out in force in this volume.  And in a lovely side story at the end, which Fables does very well, we learn that it is all because Bigby switched fates with a sorcerer many hundreds or even thousands of years ago.  Would it have been better if he hadn’t?  This volume was an example of why this series is so great but it was also really tough to read.  Why?  Because while this, and the entire Fables series, leans more towards the original more violent fairy tales in tone, in the original tales we don’t get to know the characters and their connections like we do here.  The emotional impact is ten times greater.  So beware but don’t let that keep you from reading this one.

Fables Vol. 19 Snow White

Why Bill Willlingham why??  So you might think some bad stuff has gone down before in the series but it ain’t nothing to what Volumes 18 and 19 heap onto Snow White and Bigby Wolf.  Lordy!  The first part of the Volume is the whimsical wrap up of Bufkin the flying monkey’s story in Oz (and beyond).  Then, comes the rough stuff.  The thing is I’m not sure how happy I am about how it was done.  It’s awkward to talk about without revealing what “it” is but quite frankly it was sudden, nonchalant and more than a little anti-climactic.  Which it really shouldn’t have been.  It needed to be epic and it really wasn’t.  I forgive it only because Cubs in Toyland was so good and so moving and because Volume 20 is coming soon and is called Camelot.  King Arthur fixes everything. I hope. 

I'm dying to hear what your favorite comics might be?  Where should I go to get away from the sad? 

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