Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Of Fables

Alright I would like to start of by saying I have no problem with any sort of medium that tells a story. Books, television, film, music, theatre etc. However there was one medium I also had a problem with, which was comic books. I followed certain comic book characters (Spider-Man and X-Men mostly) and knew a lot about their story arcs. However I never felt like reading them. I had always preferred long novels than to read little snippets of dialogue with lots of pictures. That along with the fact that these comics had been running for years and had hundreds of issues to read, comics having a geeky stigma around them and the things I had seen they seemed difficult to read.

However this all changed last year. Last year I was suffering 'Lost' withdrawal. I had watched seasons 1-3 in quick succession (only a few months between seasons), however now I had to wait 9 months till season 4 was on Sky One. So I needed something to do and came across an influence the writers of Lost had credited, Watchmen. A comic book by Alan Moore, is on of the biggest influences on how Lost is written. So I bought it looking for something to read, not caring as long as it was similar to Lost. And I did read it. Then I realised I thoroughly enjoyed it. And then I read it again. Then I started recommending it to people. Currently my copy is in the position of a close friend due to the movie trailer which was released a few weeks ago so he can have a knowledge of the story before it releases.

Realising that Watchmen really was amazing (and there will be a blog post about it when the movie comes out) I tried to find more comics to read. Not Spider-Man's and X-Men. Other comics. Not necessarily the ones about superheroes but the less well known ones and critically acclaimed ones. This has led me to find such series as Sandman (Neil Gaiman, friend of Terry Pratchett, bought this one after I read Good Omens a very funny book by them both) and Y: The Last Man (Brian K. Vaughan, a writer on Lost). Both of these are great reads and really interesting. I've also read such comics as The Dark Knight Returns and the Fountain, again I loved both. However there is one series I love the most out of all of these, and that is Fables, the subject of this blog.

Fables for those of you don't know is a comic book version of all your favourite fairy tales after their stories have finished. It's also not just fairy tales but books like Narnia, Oz and Alice in Wonderland. The thing is it takes really interesting spins on the classic characters, a fairly adult twist. Prince Charming is a playboy who was married to Snow White, Cinderella and Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty) and now fucks any girl who looks at him. The Big Bad Wolf (Bigby Wolf for short) is the sheriff of their community. Jack of Fables is the same Jack from nearly every tale featuring a Jack, Jack Frost, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Jack Horner and so on and so on.

The reason all these Fables are together in one community? Because they have been taken from their individual Fable words by the Adversary (and the reveal of who that is is extremely cool.) This means that many of the Fables now live in a community in New York called Fabletown (catchy huh?). Here they live a life away from the Mundy's and the Adversary's troops, with their Mayor; King Cole, Deputy Mayor; Snow White and many other Fables from an extremely long list that continues to grow. Many of the Fables remain in the 'Homelands' ruled by the Adversary with strict authoritarian ruling. Which means that Fables in the Homelands and those in Fabletown have come to a head at various points (memorably in the March of the Wooden Soldiers and Boy Blues one man mission into the Homeland).

Currently I am only at issue 59 which means I'm 17 issues behind where many of the other readers are at. However so far the series has been packed with amazing moments. From the March of the Wooden Soldiers, the reveal of the Adversary and Blue's accompanying rampage across the Homelands and the many,many unexpected romances that have cropped up along the way. There are so many great characters in this series and thankfully many of them have a back story already in place and are given far more depth than in the stories in this series.

Fables is a great series that I would recommend to almost anyone looking for something cool and interesting to read. It's not particularly taxing to read but it is damn fun. Only 16 issues till major changes in the status quo (still don't know whats going to happen but I do know that the Homelands and Fabletown are going to war.) I'll be posting some more impressions when I get to issue 75 so that should be up fairly soon.


Alright I've finished the first 75 issues. All I can say is that I love this series. I would defiantly rank it up there with some of favourite books of all time. The tale that is told is just so interesting. The Fable universe is rich and at the end of this first part of the story I've been treated to so many amazing moments. I've recounted a few above but I would also like to add scenes like Genie arc as well as the issue 75 which was just incredible and just changes so many things.

I'm going to give a score to Fables now. The story is so rich and is constantly surprising. The characters are all amazing (personally favourite is Boy Blue) and the artwork is stunning. Fables definitely deserves a 10/10


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