I don’t read very many comics. There are a variety of reasons for this. I don’t read much at all due to time constraints and preferences, and my general reading material tends to be scifi oriented novels. I also read mostly when traveling, and my husband has always been particular about both comics and graphic novels and I am, well, kind of a disaster and tend to injure books. Anyway, I don’t read many comics, but when I find one I love, I tend to get crazy, at least for a while. That’s what happened when I found the comic Fables.
I love fairy tales. It’s probably my single biggest and longest lasting guilty pleasure, and a lot of it is Disney’s fault. I grew up on animated Disney movies and reading stories of fairy tales, including a number of original Grimm’s and Hans Christian Anderson. I adore the musical Into the Woods about mixed up fairy tales, and was even the musical director of it once (pro tip: don’t do that, it is a hard show!). So, when my husband told me about a comic series involving fairy tale characters, I had to check it out.
The premise of the comics, which are written by Bill Willingham and published by DC Vertigo, is that an “Adversary” in their Homelands has forced the fables to move into New York City. Those who can blend in live together in a series of apartment complexes they cal Fabletown. Those who can’t, think the Three Little Pigs, live on the Farm in upstate New York. As you can imagine, Fairy Tales aren’t used to city life, and therefore, hi-jinks ensue.
There are a few major characters. Snow White is the one running Fabletown at the opening of the series with the help of the Big Bad Wolf who has been enchanted to take on human form when he wants and goes by Bigby. Apparently in this series, there is one Prince Charming for three princesses: Snow White, Cinderella,and Sleeping Beauty (Briar Rose). Also, Beauty and the Beast are still together. If you are good, there are lots of background characters to pick out in various scenes.
The series opens with a murder mystery, another thing I tend to love, so that drew me in right away. One of the best things about this series is that it has episodes and series of small storylines, but also an over-arching story dealing with the Adversary and the Homelands which has threads in various places. The only problem with Fables is that after reading them, there are some characters that you may never look at the same way again when you pass them at Disney!
Fables is a great starter comic. If you aren’t necessarily into comics, but you have an interest and you like fairy tales, I think this is a great place to start. It was one of my first comic series, and since I have read others including Preacher and Y:The Last Man, and I’m planning on reading Sandman. If you have a friend to get into comics, buy them the opening graphic novel, it worked pretty well on Gardella!