Sunday, October 29, 2006

Fables: Legends in Exile

by Bill Willingham

The Fables graphic novel series has been produced for a few years on the Vertigo label, also home to the Sandman and Lucifer series'. Fables has a similar sort of premise to those other titles, only instead of mythological figures the protagonists are the inhabitants of European fairy tales, Snow White, Bluebeard, The Big Bad Wolf and so on. These characters have been exiled from their traditional fictitious homelands by a malevolent evil force (left fairly mysterious in this volume), and now reside incognito in New York City.

In this first collection Snow White (with the help of The Big Bad Wolf) investigate the disappearance and suspected murder of her sister Rose Red. The story is a clever enough murder mystery, and there are plenty of cute uses of the fairy tale setting. However while the mythological inhabitants of 'Sandman' or 'Lucifer' invite plenty of allegorical resonance, it's hard to do the same with fairy tale characters, as they're fundamentally shallower. Unless of course you do something like the Alan Moore 'Lost Girls' route and explicitly modernise them, but that's a post for another time...


Anonymous said...

I wish you still lived in chch so I could borrow your graphic novels :P

Fables sounds cool, but Lost Girls sounds intriguing too.

Jon said...

Fables is OK, but Lost Girls is fucking fantastic. I'm only about halfway through at the moment though.