“Fables: The Deluxe Edition, Book One” by Bill Willingham

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(Author: Bill Willingham) + (Year: 2009) + (Goodreads)


Review:

Fables is certainly a magical story. And the magic does not only come from the fact that it is literally inspired by fables and fairytale characters. Much of its charm comes directly from the smoothly working machine that this mix of stories and characters is.

While it can hardly be said that many fairytales combined in one story is original, and quite the opposite, lately there have been many of these, Fables still does it in an extremely cool way, if not else. And what’s even more appealing is that it does not only include Disney characters and tales, but different folklore as well. For example, I had completely forgotten about the story of Rose Red and Snow White, which I used to read as a child, and for obvious reasons, I have been focusing much more on the Disney Snow White. It even took me some time to remember the exact name of Rose Red in Bulgarian.

Aside from the enjoyment I received from the way all of the characters fit together, I liked their depiction as well, even though I did not appreciate them as people. I absolutely loved Belle and the Beast going to “marriage counseling” and Prince Charming manipulating gullible  girls for money and sex. The characters had problems just like normal people though, despite being the magical beings we praise in fairytales.

This first deluxe edition contained volumes 1 and 2 and I can boldly state that I enjoyed volume 2 much, much more. The entire Animal Farm idea was brilliant (I really love Animal Farm, surprise, surprise), and evil Goldilocks was both interesting and hilarious.

I also read some of the reviews and saw many negative ones, based on the art, for the most part. It was indeed straightforward and comprising of either close ups or extreme wide shots of the entire place where the action is happening, but it did not necessarily cripple the story. If it was a horror, maybe it would have been better to have more complicated and intricate panels, but in this case it was easy to follow both the art and the events which are being discussed, as there were many new things happening all at the same time.

 

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