Fables - Bill Willingham
Recently I got a comic reader app for my ipod touch and found out that the Ipod touch it is superbly handy for reading comics on the move. So I've been catching up on my comic reading. Starting with the many volumes in the delightful Fables series. (Basically a modern day story starring characters out of the old stories living in New York in exile from a great war)
Book 1 - Legends in Exile
When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters have created their own peaceful and secret society within an exclusive luxury apartment building called Fabletown.
But when Snow White's party-girl sister, Rose Red, is apparently murdered, it is up to Fabletown's sheriff, a reformed and pardoned Big Bad Wolf, to determine if the killer is Bluebeard, Rose's ex-lover and notorious wife killer, or Jack, her current live-in boyfriend and former beanstalk-climber.
Excellent intro to the characters and the weird slant they now have. (Prince Charming has 3 ex wives - Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty King Cole is the Mayor of Fable Town, The Big Bad wolf is the local sheriff etc etc.)
Book 2 - Animal Farm
Travel to upstate New York, where the non-human Fable characters have found refuge on a farm, miles from mankind. But all is not well on the farm - and a conspiracy to free them from the shackles of their perceived imprisonment may lead to a war that could wrest control of the Fables community away from Snow White. Starring Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
The Fable animals stage a revolution to escape the confines of the farm.
Book 3 - Storybook Love
One of the stories in this new collection is appropriately titled "Into the Woods." Like Stephen Sondheim's musical, Willingham's series presents figures from childhood fairytales contending with the problems of adult life. Snow White, Briar Rose (aka Sleeping Beauty), Prince Charming, Little Boy Blue and Goldilocks all appear, as does a trickster named Jack. So does the Big Bad Wolf, who is inescapably reminiscent of Marvel's Wolverine. Even Gulliver's Lilliputians turn up, as do talking animals. This volume collects issues 11 through 18, and, as with many contemporary comics, it will be difficult for readers who haven't started with the first issue to get their bearings. The fairytale characters comprise a community of immortals known as "Fables," who now hide in plain sight from the mundane normal people (known as "mundys," they're much like J.K. Rowling's muggles) in a section of New York City called Fabletown. The stories are of two sorts. Two stand-alone tales take place in past centuries and have a genuine fairytale feel and period charm. The others, set in the present, are gritty, with dysfunctional relationships, blackmail and murder attempts. Take the "mature audiences" advisory seriously: this is a book in which an adult Goldilocks can be seen naked or covered with blood. Despite its darker elements, Fables features wit and comedy; Willingham can even make scenes simultaneously farcical and horrific. The art ranges from the illustrative to cartoony, and its variety mirrors the stories' many moods.
Some cool stand alone stories - Jack Captures Death during the American Civil War, A mundane journo threatens to reveal their secret and Bluebeard plots something sinister with Goldilocks.
Book 4 - March of the Wooden Soldiers
Prince Charming runs for Mayor of Fabletown while the community deals with the apparent escape from the Homelands of Red Riding Hood. The Adversary sends his first troops into Fabletown to begin an assault.
Things start to hot up now as we learn more about the adversary and the war back home.
Book 5 - The Mean Seasons
A series of smaller story set a year after the attack. Stories include Cinderella Super spy, Bigby's adventures in WW2, Snow White gives Birth and moves to the farm with her kids, meanwhile Jack moves to Holywood and sets up shop.
Some fun stories as well as some that point to darker days coming.
Book 6 - Homelands
Boy Blue goes on a mission to the Homelands with the aim of assassinating the Adversary and learns the Adversary's identity.
Action packed as Boy Blue ditches his trumpet for a sword and sets out on a mission to assassinate the adversary. Learns a few secrets along the way