Monday, 20 August 2012

Aha Fables! Volumes 1 -17 by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham et al.

Volume 17 of Fables, called 'Inherit The Wind' collects together issues 108-113 of the Fables series. And what a series. Without doubt a classic and a 'must-read' as far as I'm concerned.
I think I'll start with the covers, which in themselves are wonders to behold. Each is visually stunning and breathtakingly drawn. There is detail and beauty in just about any cover you could pick at random. Not only that, but there are a number of superb artists who have contributed 'gems' to this fabulous series. Just to take one - Adam Hughes in Volume 17 does a fantastic mini-story called 'Porky-pining'- in an Art Deco style. It's fantastic. And funny.

Without spoiling too much -  the series tells the story of the lives and loves of characters and creatures from the realms of fairy stories, myths and legends and it imagines that they have been forced to live among 'mundies'. That's us normal folk, so you know, and we don't know their true nature. They live in Fabletown, of course, (undetectable to us) and have had to flee from an evil enemy (who is he?) seeking to subdue them to his authority- as well as doing the same to countless other worlds in his quest for Empire. There's Snow White, The Wolf, Little Boy Blue, The North Wind, Beauty and the Beast and many, many more. And theyr'e not quite how you remember them either - just check out Pinocchio!
There are battles, births, betrayals, burials and betrothals and no character is safe. Willingham admirably manages to weave a fluent narrative through the pages of so many issues. By the time we get to Volume 17 various sinister perils have been faced. There has been heartache and heartbreak, but also a healthy dose of humour and hope. (I'll stop with the alliteration now.)
The artwork is generally carried out by Buckingham, whose style is quite 'traditional', in a kind of comic book way. That's not to be patronising though. I often have liked work that breaks from this style - Mignola, Sienkiewicz, O'Neill, Miller etc. But this is vivid, energetic and full of character. Can't wait for the next volume...


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