Fables, Volume 1: Legends in Exile

Monday, May 17, 2010

Title: Fables, Volume 1: Legends in Exile
Author: Bill Willingham
Illustrated: Lan Medina, Steve Leialoha, Craig Hamilton
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Vertigo (DC Comics)
Release Date: January 2003

Okay, this book is a graphic novel. Quick aside: I never thought I would read a graphic novel. Just wasn't my type of thing. I mean, reading what basically boils down to a comic book? Really? Well, I have recently learned that graphic novels have merits all their own. They can contain thorough and interesting plot lines (of which the telling through pictures and word bubbles is a talent in and of itself). And the illustrations are fantastic! When I started reading this, I was immediately transported back to the times, as a kid, I would beg for Archie comics at the grocery story check out lines or when I would read my weekly Spiderman in the Sunday comics. And another thing... graphic novels are a nice change of pace for when my brain is fried (which has happened a lot lately) and I need something more visual to focus on.

I was referred to this series by Trisha of Eclectic/Eccentric. She gave it a fantastic review, but what initially drew me in was the cover. How cool is it!?! I immediately knew, upon seeing the cover, that I would want to read the book. And what further made me want to read it was the fact that it takes place in my favorite place ever... New York City! Basically, this was the first in the Fables series. The characters are "fairy tale legends" that have been exiled from their land and are now living in "Fabletown" in NYC. Some of the main characters in this book were Snow White, The Big Bad Wolf, Jack (the one with the beanstalk), and Rose Red. Keep in mind they are living as plain ol' regular New Yorkers, so the average person doesn't realize they are these fairy tales.

Starting off with the illustrations -- the drawings and the color were fantastic (can't really think of another way to describe it). I loved the rich detail of the colors and the detail in the drawings. It made me feel as though it were "sophisticated" in that it didn't leave anything out. The drawings reminded me very much of the Spiderman comics I mentioned from the Sunday paper with the same type of human drawings and face structures. As for the story, it starts with Snow White's sister, Rose Red, going missing. The rest of the story is mainly "The Big Bad Wolf" investigating what they determine is the murder of Rose Red. There were comedic moments for me such as whenever the pig (of the three little pigs and who is actually still a pig) keeps ending up in differen random scenes with people. The fairy tale legends are supposed to be a secret and fit in among society. Letting them know you're not a regular New Yorker is not okay! As for the mystery, I thought it was just an okay mystery. But the other elements of this book have really intrigued me and I will definitely be reading more in this series (already have the second on my TBR)! And definitely give graphic novels a chance!

In case you missed the link, check out Trisha's review at Eclectic/Eccentric.


Amanda said...

I tried reading this recently and couldn't get more than a page into it. I've read a lot of graphic novels and I think I'm just more in tune with artistic ones. The drawing in here felt like every other superhero comic book in the world and I really don't like superhero comics. There were women with their big chests popping out of their dresses, that sort of thing. It bothers me. So I just put it aside without reading far enough along to get into the story. I'll stick with more artsy, non-superhero-ish GNs! :D

Trisha said...

I'm glad you liked it Jenny. I agree that the mystery was so-so; for me it's the world that is being created which fascinates.

Zibilee said...

I recently bought this book for my kids and am hoping to get the chance to read it soon. It sounds like a wonderful read! I, too, am a little shy of graphic novels, but this is one I am really excited about!!

Aarti said...

I have also only recently started reading graphic novels and have found that there's a lot more to enjoy than I originally expected! I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of some of the books I've read. I've seen a lot about the Fables series, but as it's so long, I feel intimidated to start it!

christina said...

I really need to get my hands on this from the library.

Jenny said...

Amanda -- that's very true... I can definitely see where you're coming from. It is def. just like every superhero comic... probably why it reminded me so much of Spiderman, haha. I just started the second one... there are already some parts where I'm thinking I'm really not going to like it, but we'll see!

Trisha -- yes, I think that's the part I liked too! Have you started the second one yet? It's strange..

Heather -- yeah I've heard a lot of great things about it. Just fyi though... I don't remember really so much in the first one, but in the second one there are some adult issues/comments in there!

Aarti -- I've been surprised too... there are definitely some I have my eye on now!

Christina -- definitely let me know what you think!

Nicola said...

I love this series! And you can really get hooked on it. There are some truly amazing graphic novels out there in every possible genre for every age group.

Here are the ones I've reviewed: graphic novels for all ages

But just a warning Fables is ADULT material definitely rated R with sex, nudity, language, violence, etc. Not for the kiddoes at all and not to all adult tastes either.

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