Thursday, February 08, 2007

Fables Catch-up

I reviewed most of the Fables books already, and they're one of my favorite series I discovered in 2006, but I'm three books behind in the series!

First up is Fables: Arabian Nights (and Days) - Volume 7. In this tale, the Arabian Fairy Tale contingent (led by none other than Sinbad!) arrives in Fabletown, seeking asylum. Mowgli, as emissary, has laid a complex groundwork to minimize culture clashes between the Americanized European Fables and the Arabian Fables. But! Now that King Cole is no longer mayor and Charming is, a lot of things have fallen through the cracks-- including all of Mowgli's plans. And Mowgli's not there to pick up the pieces, because he's off searching for Bigby. What's to happen when the Fables find out that their new guests have brought a Djinn? Will Fabletown survive?

This collection also includes a one-off story called "The Ballad of Rodney and June" (which makes me sing "Ballad of Bobby and June" off the A Mighty Wind soundtrack) this is the ill-fated love affair between a member of the Adversary's army and his medic. I'm not a big fan of the one-off stories because I these collection are short enough as it is-- I want PLOT! But that's just me being whiny. They're well written, but it's frustrating because this whole series is so good, and just keeps getting better and you want to know what happens next and you still have a bunch of pages to go, but! ack! Side plot!

The next volume is the amazing and superb Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall. Framed in as Snow White going to the Arabian Lands to plea for help in the early days of Fabletown. Not used to negotiating with a mere woman, Snow ends up in the Scherazade-like position of telling a story every night to save her head.

What Snow ends up telling are the back stories of our favorite characters-- where Snow gets her strength, how Frau Totenkinder survived Hansel and Gretl, how the Frog Prince escaped without his family, and why Bigby is so cranky and how he first met Snow. These stories allow us a much deeper glimpse into these characters and why they act the way they do once in Fabletown. More exciting than the back story though, is the beautiful renderings of each story by a different artist. I really love the different spin Tara McPherson puts on Snow and Red, but the story of Flycatcher broke my heart. These are the classic fairy tales as only Willingham could tell them-- dark, violent, and rarely with a happy ending. Most excellent and my favorite of the series by far.

Most recently we've gotten Fables Vol. 8: Wolves. I don't want to give too much away, but Mowgli finds Bigby! And there are issues! And it's awesome! We also get a fun short story of Cinderella as Secret Agent. Yes, I know just a few paragraphs ago I was whiny about side plots, BUT! I like them better when they involve characters that are already part of the series.

AND! Coming at the end of the month is... Jack of Fables. I can't wait! (Can you?)

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