Fables Vol 2: Animal Farm by Bill Willingham

Fables Vol 2: Animal Farm by Bill WillinghamIn this second volume of Fables, Snow White and her sister Red Rose goes to visit Animal Farm, a place where all the fables that don’t pass as humans live. It’s interesting to see all the non-human creatures take the stage this time, but I didn’t get how some of them live there, like the woman with many kids living in a big shoe (aren’t they from Mother Goose?).

On the first night the sisters stay, Colin Piggy, the youngest of the three pigs gets killed. That’s gruesome. It is somehow disturbing to see one your fairy tale character gets killed, and for not a very good reason too in my opinion. They’re supposed to be immortal. But in Fables apparently they can die.

So Snow is forced to investigate and we are introduced to the rebellious force in the farm. Of course, at the end justice is served and the fables seem to be able to sort things out once again. Like the first volume, it’s pretty good introduction to the world of fables.

Some new fairy tale characters that make appearances are the ones from Three Little Pigs, Jungle Book, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and random giants. Does anyone know from which story Little Boy Blue comes from? (Okay I just searched Wiki and he’s apparently from some obscure nursery rhyme.)

4 stars
2003, 128 pp

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Sophisticated Dorkiness | avidbookreader.com | The Written World | Things Mean A Lot | Stuff as Dreams are Made on | Rhinoa’s Ramblings | A High and Hidden Place | Blue. Bold. Adventure. | The Book Zombie | Fyrefly’s Book Blog | everyday reads

My other reviews of Fables series: Fables Vol 1: Legends in Exile and Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall

Fables Vol 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham

Fables: Legends in Exile

I read Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall last month, fell in love straight away, and couldn’t wait to pursue the rest of the series. Legends of Exile is really the first in the series (1001 Nights of Snowfall is the prequel). Here we get introduced to Bigby the Big Bad Wolf (though he assumes body of a man as explained how he came to be in the prose story at the end of the book) and our beloved heroine Snow White. Snow is the the Director of Operations in Fables, the kingdom of fairy tales folks that ran away from their homelands to New York City (the fictional land :), because they were chased away by the Adversary. New York City is called “dreary mundane place: the one world the Adversary seemed to take no interest in.” And so there stay the exiles, trying to live alongside each other in their new home. They created the General Amnesty, in which all past crimes, debts, and grievances are pardoned and can never be brought up again. So bad or good in their previous lives, they all start anew in the new world (theoritically, at least).

At the beginning of the story, Jack (from Jack the Beanstalks) rushes to Bigby’s office to tell him something bad has happened. He later found out that Rose Red, sister of Snow White, is missing and her apartment is totally wrecked, splashed with her blood all over. Jack is Rose’s boyfriend. We quickly get introduced to the other characters as well. Charming (The Prince): Snow’s ex husband, Beauty and the Beast, Flycatcher (the Frog Prince), Cinderella, The Pig (of the Big Bad Wolf. I love the pig!), The King, and Bluebeard.

Bluebeard drove me crazy. I kept wondering which character from which fairy tale he is taken from. My first guess was the King of Arab, who kills his newly wedded bride every single night (and that is mentioned for Bluebeard), but in 1001 Nights of Snowfall Snow White visited the King of Arab, so it’s not him. Somewhere in Wiki it’s mentioned that originally the Bluebeard character design was supposed to be that of Captain Hook, but got cancelled because of Copyright issues. Anyway, I guess at the end he’s a nobody, just one of the villains.

Did I say I loved this series? It’s great! I love the setting, the personality of the characters, the twisted fairy tales, everything. The main story itself of Legends in Exile is just so-so in my opinion, but it’s a great outlet to introduce all the characters in Fables. I also like how each Chapter is started, for examples:

Chapter One: Old Tales Revisited
In which we meet many of our principal players and get just the first hint or two of some of the myriad troubles to come
.

Chapter Two: The (Un)Usual Suspects
In which our intrepid detective delves deeper into the mystery of the missing Fable, and a prince is reunited with his old lady love.

Will try to get the second in the series soon. Hopefully soon!

Rating: 4 out of 5
Pages: 127
Publication year: 2002

Awards
2003 Eisner Award for Best New Series and Best Serialized Story

First line
Once upon a time.

Last line
The End – for now.

Also reviewed by

avidbookreader.com (almost complete summary) | Stuff As Dreams Are Made On | Sophisticated Dorkiness | Fyrefly’s Book Blog | That’s the Book! | Blue. Bold. Adventure. | The Book Zombie (with issues covers) | A Chain of Letters | The Written World | Experiments in Reading | A Striped Armchair | Everyday Reads (review) on Fables covers | Falling Stacks | A High and Hidden Place | Rhinoa’s Ramblings | SomeReads

Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall by Bill Willingham

Fables 1001 Nights of Snowfall

Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall is a prequel to the Fables series written by Bill Willingham. Now I’ve been really really wanting to read Fables series, but just can’t get my hands on the books from my library (long story). So when I saw 1001 Nights, and read the introduction which says that I can read this part without having to read the main series beforehand, I grabbed it, and finished it in half a day.

In 1001 Nights of Snowfall, Snow White visited the Arab Sultan (the one in 1001 Arabian Nights, the one who marries a virgin every single day and kills her in the morning that follows) to seek alliance between Fabletown and the Sultan’s Kingdom. Instead of Scheherazade, Snow was in the company of the Sultan and tell him stories after stories about the past and tales of the Fables. From what happened to Snow White after she got married, how the Big Bad Wolf got to be, the devastating life events of the Frog Prince, the history of the witch who lived in the candy chocolate house (who trapped Hansel and Gretel), and some minor stories.

What can I say? I LOVE it! The art is amazingly good. For this particular book, there are a bunch of illustrators, who each illustrates one story. So you can see a big difference of style between one story to another, but equally great. It’s so good that I couldn’t stop flipping back and forth, indulging in the beauty of the illustrations. Gorgeous. Wonderful. (insert more words for “very good” here)

bill willingham

I don’t think this Fables is appropriate for young children. What with naked Snow White and more adult themes around some stories. To this day I can’t stop wondering why graphic novels are always placed near/at the “Children/Picture Book” section in the libraries. Having read some graphic novels, I can assure you I wouldn’t want my kids to read them in their early age. When would all adults realize that not all books with pictures are kiddies?

Anyway, this book is perfect for adults who enjoy fairy tales retellings. I can’t praise it high enough. Great cover too! I’d definitely chase after the rest of the Fables series. To be honest, if 1001 Nights is a representation of the series, I’d like Fables much more than the Sandman series (I realize I just read the first in the Sandman series and you all have said it’s not a good representation of the whole series).

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Pages: 140
Publication year: 2006

First line
Once upon a time, as all stories of this type must begin, a lovely woman traveled to a far-off demon-haunted land of magnificent jeweled cities, cast adrift in a sea of wind-tossed desert.

Last line
“He likes stories,” Snow said.

Award
2007 Will Eisner Award for Best Anthology, Best Short Story (Bill Willingham and James Jean, for A Frog’s Eye View), Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (Jill Thomson, for “Fair Division”), and Best Cover Artist (James Jean) [source] [source2]

Also reviewed by

everyday reads | Blogging for a Good Book | Fyrefly’s Book Blog | Tripping Toward Lucidity | things mean a lot

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