I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got three new comics plus two hard cover collections:

  • Echo – 17
  • The Walking Dead – 68
  • Sergio Argon├ęs: Groo – The Hogs of Horder -2
  • Tomb of Dracula Omnibus Volume 2
  • Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil (Not the original story but the Jeff Smith one)
  • And now for a review of something I’ve read recently.

  • “Fables: The Deluxe Edition Book One” by Bill Willingham, Lan Medina, Mark Buckingham, and Steve Leialoha
  • “Fables” is one of those comics that I have never read because I have a general prejudice against Vertigo Comics books as they usually aren’t to my taste and I’ve always thought the “High Concept” premise of “Fables” was dumb. But I have some friends who like it and I actually enjoy the work of most of the creators involved so when this oversized hardcover came out I decided to buy it and give it a go.

    I’m glad I did because “Fables” is a nice read. Not the greatest thing in the world but a solid, enjoyable, comic. I had heard that the first five issues of “Fables” were meant to be a mini series but it sold so well that the decision was made to continue it as an ongoing series. I found it interesting how that appeared to be played out by the storytelling styles of the two story arcs collected in this volume.

    “Fables” is about a whole bunch of fictional characters from stories, fables, and fairy tales who were driven from their magical lands by “The Adversary” and now make their home in our human world. We humans know nothing of them and they aim to keep it that way. The first story arc is a murder mystery tale that takes place amongst the Fables who live in their own Manhattan housing community and the second story arc is a tale of Fable on Fable rebellion in upstate New York.

    I found the storytelling style of the first story arc interesting. I wrote a piece some time ago about a lost comic book story telling style that I noticed when reading the 1954 comedy comic “Get Lost”. Basically it’s this: modern comic book story telling is all about what is going to happen next and this other (I have no name for it) style is all about what’s happening right now.

    The first “Fables” story arc is done in this “Lost” style. You’re supposed to spend time with each panel. There are things going on in the moment that you will miss if you’re only concerned about what is going to happen. The penciller, Lan Medina, draws all sorts of things happening at once in a single panel. It’s all designed to slow you down and keep you in the moment. The plot holds less meaning than spending time in the moment of that world. I found it interesting as I hardly ever see this type of storytelling anymore.

    With the second story arc we’re back to a more conventional, plot driven, move you along story telling style. It was still well done but a departure from the first story. I enjoyed this second arc but I think I liked the first one better because it was unusual.

    Overall I did find the whole fairy tale characters thing a little distracting. I think the story would work just as well with original characters but I understand the nature of the marketplace and how things get done. It’s easier to pitch, “Staring all the fairy tale characters you already know who are alive and well and living in our world” than to try and explain who twenty new characters are to a tired editor and the public.

    The bottom line is that this “Fables” book was good. Give it a read.