I am unquestionably sick of modern fairytale adapted stories. The cutesy puns and attempted modern revamp of drawn-out characters are not only annoying, but likewise uninventive and plain ol’ obnoxious. However as critical I am of these archetypal pieces (with Once Upon a Time being my most recent letdown), I have to say that Bill Willingham’s Fables is an absolute “must-read.”
Set in, forgivingly enough, modern times, Fables follows the story of Fabletown: a mish-mash of exiled Fairy Tale characters who have joined forces to seek refuge amongst the “Mundanes,” a.k.a us, in New York City. While details of the great and powerful god-like “Adversary” that stripped the Fairy Tale beings of their lands is not immediately disclosed, the story begins with the tale of the murder of Rose Red. Rose Red, Snow White’s wild-child kid sister, is missing, leaving behind a wrecked and bloodied apartment, and it is up to Fabletown’s chief detective and sole body of law enforcement Bigby, the Big Bad Wolf, to solve the mystery. The only problem is “Remembrance Day,” the annual ball that celebrates the Fairy Tale collaboration and peace, is approaching, and Fabletown must keep all matters of magical nature secret from the “Mundanes.”
The investigation pursues Rose Red’s idiotic boyfriend Jack, yes the beanstalk Jack, and her secret lover Greybeard who are chief suspects in the case. Yet amidst the persecution of Fabletown’s community, Snow is likewise torn between familial duty towards her sister, and her own inner turmoil of her sister’s affair with Snow’s ex-husband Charming, who is anything but.
All in all, the inner workings of the story are beautifully crafted in an appreciably humorous and original form, of which when coupled with the exciting murder mystery atmosphere makes for an extremely fun read. The eclectic hipster consortium of characters eliminates any “cutesy” factor, if the blood and sex does not do so enough by itself, and the art is reminiscent of old school newspaper comics: detailed and gorgeously displayed.
Overall, I am extremely satisfied with the first volume of Fables, and am admittedly looking forward to picking up the next copy. Therefore, whether or not you are a fairytale cynic like myself or a hard core Once Upon a Time fan-girl/boy, Fables is a beautiful piece and definitely worth your time.
-Fast paced and exciting
-Still a fairytale story