By Bill Willingham (Writer), Mark Buckingham (Artist), Steve Leialoha (Artist), Lan Medina (Artist), Bryan Talbot (Artist), Linda Medley (Artist), James Jean (Cover Artist)
Release Date: May 1st, 2004
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 5/5 Stars
First things first: I love when any type of series starts with a summary of previous events. Very useful, very much appreciated. I also love when graphic novels are bookended by one-shot stories, and the ones in Fables do an absolutely wonderful job of expanding the world and characters. Great stuff.
So when the main plot of Storybook Love starts, Snow is just about getting back on her feet after the events of Animal Farm. Goldilocks is still in the wind, Rose is managing things at the farm, and things are…not quite smooth.
This series has so many great characters who serve as villains and antagonists, or who you just flat-out cannot get a handle on. We get a good amount of time spent with each of the characters who are going to impact the plot, especially as they try to avoid their community being exposed to the world. Snow and Bigsby find themselves trapped in the wilderness together, where…something blossoms, even if it’s not quite love, and they end the volume entwined in ways that can’t be ignored.
Pulling back from that storyline a bit, we also get to see more of how Briar Rose’s sleeping curse works, and see it used to great effect. We also get a glimpse of where the Lilliputians came from and some fun adventures around them. The different elements of the stories blend together really well, making it really feel like as we learn more about this world, it also opens up for more questions to be asked, and gives the sense there is a lot more to be explored. I’ve mentioned before there have been comparisons with Once Upon a Time, and some of the comparisons are fair, but Fables is that bit darker, bit more brutal, bit more ruthless than OUAT, and stands completely on its own for it. I can’t wait to see where it heads next, especially with the relationship between Snow and Bigsby.
Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile / Fables, Vol 2: Animal Farm