The song for today is I Don't Care (Live) by Draco and the Malfoys. Yes, it's a wizard rock song! And today, it makes me happy.
You look like a fool
No you don't look cool
When you're running around, caring about stuff
I don't care about the world
(some line I can never understand)
I only care about myself
And my family, 'cuz they give me stuff.
So, that's not related to my post today, but I wanted to share it.
Anyway, welcome back to Graphic Novel week! Today, we're going to catch up on the Fables series (and its spin off, Jack of Fables) by Bill Willingham. I have a lot to review. I'm mixing the 2 series up, reviewing in order of publication.
Jack of Hearts (Jack #2)
Um, I read this like, a year and a half ago. We start with a story about how Jack seduced the Snow Queen and became Jack Frost. Then a story arc about Jack's adventures in Vegas. Lots of gambling and women. Jack loses his money, regains it. My favorite part was Lady Luck, personified.
The Good Prince (Fables #10)
Oh, this has to be one of my favorite volumes so far, after 1001 Nights of Snowfall. This is King Ambrose's story (you may know him as Fly Catcher. After Santa made him remember, he knows what he has to do, and shoulders the burden. I don't want to get too much into it, but... oh. It's wonderful and heartbreaking and if you like this series at all, you must get at least as far as this volume! I also really liked the page borders in this story arc--very well done, especially the candy canes and cookies whenever Frau Tottenkinder was on the scene!
The book does take a break in the middle for an interlude with Snow and Bigby's kids turn 5. It was a cute story that comes up again in the next Jack volume, but... my characters look a certain way. This issue was drawn by Aaron Alexovitch. It threw me at first because that's now what Snow White looks like! (Although I did like her curls...) I'm a big Alexovitch fan, but I do get set in my ways. What I did like though, is this story made me expose my first symptom of comic book geekery-- I knew Alexovitch drew it as soon as I saw the first few panels. After becoming familiar with his style for what he drew for Minx (Kimmie66, which wrote and drew, and Confessions of a Blabbermouth, which he drew) I can now spot his distinctive style at 20 paces.
The Bad Prince (Jack 3)
Given the parallelism in titles, I did want more parallelism in stories between this and The Good Prince, which came out around the same time this omnibus did. But, this does tie Jack back into Fables. Something minor that happened in the birthday party issue has major consequences for Jack.
Even better, remember a really long time ago (Volume 5, The Mean Seasons) when there was that guy who remembered the invasion of the wooden soldiers? (Not the reporter that thought they were vampires, the other Mundy who seems to have a clue) Well, he's back, with back story.
Anyway, I'm still trying to figure out the significance of the tie-in (I don't want to spoil it--sorry for being cryptic). I still haven't figured out how I feel about the Jack spin-off yet. It's not as strong as Fables, but I think it has hope, but I'm afraid that might just be wishful thinking.
War and Pieces
After being built up for so long, even though it takes a full volume, the coming war finally came and was... a little anti-climactic. But, I think the only way they could have made it not so would be to stretch it over several omnibus volumes, which means a million individual issues (Fables, is, after all, still published as your standard comic book.)
I'm glad though, now that the war is over, that this isn't the last of the series, I want to see what else happens to these people.
Also, one word on one of the casualties, here at the spoiler blog.
Americana (Jack #4)
So, after the promise of the last volume of Jack, I thought this would be full of the war. Nope, just Jack running around various pockets of American mythology and urban legend, trying to stay ahead of Revise. Babe the Blue Ox, however, was quite hysterical.
New volumes of each series are coming!
Jack of Fables Vol. 5: Turning Pages is scheduled for March 10th (That's Tuesday!)
Fables Vol. 12: The Dark Ages is scheduled for August!
Way back in July, Weekly Geeks was having people ask questions about our unreviewed books. Jack of Hearts was on my unreviewed list, and I got some questions!
What did you think of Jack of Fables? Do you recommend being up to date on the Fables series before picking it up?
I'm still torn on it. For the first few, it's ok if you're behind on your Fables, but don't read The Bad Prince without being up to The Good Prince!