FablesFables Vol. 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham

I don’t read many comics or graphic novels, but this one was a blast. It takes place after “happily ever after.” The famous folks of legends and fairy tales are living in exile in New York after being forced from their lands by and evil creature, the Adversary. The characters who can disguise themselves as normal mundane humans live in an exclusive apartment building; the ones who can’t live on a farm in upstate. The trouble starts when Jack, of beanstalk fame, reports a crime. Rose Red is missing and probably dead, judging from the blood in her apartment. Snow White, the deputy mayor, and Bigby Wolf, the detective formerly known as the Big Bad Wolf, need to get to the bottom of the mystery.

This was a fun read. We meet lots of familiar characters, but each is now dealing with real-world problems. Jack needs money; Prince Charming is a cad; Snow White is a work-a-holic; the Beast is having a little trouble passing as human. The dialogue is funny and full of one-liners, the art is well-done, with a few little details that add to the enjoyment.

The mystery isn’t that suspenseful. The conclusion is fairly obvious, but I do love how Wolf presents the solution.

Anyone who’s ever fancied himself a detective, openly or secretly, longs for the day he can do the famous parlor room scene. It’s the moment when I get to reveal who did what, how they did it–and most important–how I figured it all out. (pg 99)

The story is about the characters, the setting, the dialogue, not necessarily the plot itself. I will definitely be reading more volumes of Fables.


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