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.