Monday, April 04, 2005

What you should be reading...

Haven't read many comics since my college days, but here's one that caught my eye and has kept me hooked. Fables by DC/Vertigo has style, drama, comedy, and fantasy, all wrapped up in a package of great storytelling and artwork. Well written characterizations of these classic characters and fabulous interactions highlight this Bill Willingham series. The artwork by Mark Buckingham captures the story with beauty and flair.

The basic premise for those not in the know is that all of the fairy tales you know (and many you don't) actually happened in many faraway lands, including such places as Oz, Narnia, and the various homeworlds of Cinderella, Pinnochio, Snow White, the Jungle Book, the Three Pigs, and so forth. Everyone was fat and happy until one of the fables, the as-yet-unnamed Adversary (or Emperor, if you are on the side of darkness) invaded and took over each of the lands one by one. The fables who managed to escape the clutches of the Adversary's forces were able to find passageways to our world, and proceeded to set up a colony in New Amsterdam (later known as New York City) and at an upstate New York farm. Forever yearning to return to their homeworlds, and forever fearing an invasion by the Adversary's forces, the fables form a quiet existence in their new home. And that's all before the series even gets started...

Being a late-comer to this series, I was able to catch up quickly with the set of reasonably priced trade paperbacks. The fifth book, released a few weeks ago, catches you up within two issues of the current book. The only dilemma I have now is whether to wait the 6 months for the sixth trade paperback (which work very well on my bookshelf) or start collecting the monthly issues (which will fulfill my Fables cravings on a monthly basis). Such dilemmas in my life...

Give this title a chance and you will not be disappointed. Show some love to the creators and publisher at the links below:

Writer Bill Willingham's website, complete with an active fan message board
Cover artist James Jean's website, featuring the exquisite art from the covers of Fables among others
Vertigo's Fables home page, complete with
a free PDF copy of Issue #1


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