Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Recommend: Fables

Find the first volume of this series at: [Amazon] [Borders] [Barnes & Noble]

Readers these days are no strangers to "fractured fairytale" novels, where childhood stories are re-imagined in strange new ways. The genre has made its way into comics, too, with Fables being the best-known (and in my opinion plain ol' best) example.

In Fables these classic characters - from Snow White to the Big Bad Wolf - have been driven out of their mythical homelands by a mysterious figure known as The Adversary. The monsters and talking animals live in a hidden farm, while the humans (or those who can fake a human appearance well enough) form a community in New York City. From there, each story arc takes readers on a different adventure - from murder mystery to political thriller - with these displaced fantasy figures.

Of course, comic book series don't get over 100 chapters, multiple spin-offs, and a small army of on-again-off-again TV adaptation deals without being pretty darn good. And Fables is fantastically good. Writer Bill Willingham weaves one thrilling tale after another, with dashes of humor and tidbits sure to thrill any folklore enthusiast. The art, likewise - usually done by Mark Buckingham - fits perfectly, resembling classic fairy tale illustrations.

Some consider Fables to be a bit obvious as a new-to-comics recommendation, and . . . they're exactly right. It may be cliche, but for fans of fantasy (urban and otherwise) Fables is just right.

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