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Fairest, Vol. 1 by Bill Willingham

Fairest, Vol. 1 (edition 2012)

by Bill Willingham, Phil Jimenez (Illustrator)

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2271351,069 (3.74)14
Title:Fairest, Vol. 1
Authors:Bill Willingham (Author)
Other authors:Phil Jimenez (Illustrator)
Info:Vertigo (2012), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 160 pages
Collections:Read, Read in 2012, Read in November, Read but unowned, Series
Tags:Fiction, Graphic Novel, Comics, Fables, Fables Spin-off

Work details

Fairest: Wide Awake by Bill Willingham (Author)



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» See also 14 mentions

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This is not a story about girl power. That's what some people might by looking at the cover. It's actually a story about the Snow Queen and Briar Rose. We get an explanation on the rules of true loves first kiss. The thing I enjoyed about this is how it keeps what you love about Fables and keeps it going. You do need to know the other stories in the Fables universe to understand the story. But if you don't you can enjoy the story only to a point though. ( )
  Kurt.Rocourt | May 22, 2015 |
Description: New York Times bestselling, award-winning creator Bill Willingham presents a new series starring the beautiful, deadly ladies from his hit series FABLES. Balancing horror, humor and adventure in the FABLES tradition, FAIREST explores the secret histories of Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Cinderella, The Snow Queen, Thumbelina, Snow White, Rose Red and others.

The first 6-issue tale follows the misadventures of Briar Rose immediately after the events of FABLES #107(collected in FABLES VOL. 16: SUPER TEAM), in which she was stolen away by the goblin army. Following this first collection, Willingham will serve as a consultant on all story arcs and introduce new writers from other mediums to the FABLES mythos.

Fan-favorite artist Phil Jimenez (WONDER WOMAN, THE INVISIBLES) returns to Vertigo to pencil the opening storyline. Award-winning cover artist Adam Hughes (WONDER WOMAN, BATGIRL) provides covers, starting with a wraparound cover on issue #1 that spotlights the lovely ladies who will star in the series.

Thoughts: Oh goody! Another Fables spin-off that's really lovely! I really enjoyed the first Cinderella spin-off but found the follow up Fables Are Forever a bit underwhelming so I wasn't sure how this one would turn out. Those Cindy stories are now going to be folded into this larger series that will feature many of the female Fables I love so much.

The first volume of Fairest wasn't a disappointment. I was a bit surprised that so much of the storyline was focused on a lesser known non-Fabletown resident female character, but she is a very interesting one. The intersection of that character's story with that of Briar Rose and how that led to the show down of the story arch was nice and satisfying.

I'm not sure how I feel about the last issue collected in this volume, issue 7 which is a stand-alone story arch. I won't give the story away in case anyone else follows the series, so I'll just say that it kind of turns a whole storyline on it's head completely and I'm not sure why it was done or how I feel about it. It was an intriguing read but I almost want them to come back in Fables and say "Ha! Just kidding, sucka!"

My biggest complaint, as always with comics, is that when a story is really intriguing, I want more. More exploration. More depth. More more more. This is, of course, why I can't really get into comics/graphic novels more than I am. I want novel length/worthy stuff that just happens to have pretty pictures and that just doesn't exist all that much. If only all comics writers were more like Will Eisner.

Rating: 3.8

Liked: 4
Plot: 4
Characterization: 4
Writing: 3

https://www.librarything.com/topic/142777#3718014 ( )
  leahbird | Jan 15, 2015 |
This installment answers the question of what happened once Briar Rose had made herself as well as everyone else fall asleep in her part of the battle against The Adversary (Fables Volume 11). The volume also includes a 50s noir-type short about the Beast and his Beauty, which adds an interesting layer to Beauty's character. I feel like I've been waiting a long time to find out what became of Briar Rose and I'm not disappointed to see the aftermath. I particularly enjoyed the discussion of "true love's kiss" and the battle of the godmothers - lots of great ass-kicking in this one! I also enjoyed getting an introduction to bottle-imp Jonah Panghammer and I hope we get to meet him again elsewhere in the series. ( )
  -Eva- | Jul 9, 2014 |
This was worth it for the short noir Beauty and the Beast story at the end (forever my childhood fairytale OTP ok). All of my heart, right there. NICE twist.

Only problem I really have is for a series that is supposed to be about the female Fables, the dudes still take up an awful lot of the lines and storytelling and there is no Bechdel passing. :/

But seeing the Snow Queen go all out fighting and have Briar Rose deck someone was enough to make up for that. Hope we see more of Briar having adventures in this! ( )
  cendri | May 30, 2014 |
The prince of thieves, Ali Baba, is poking through the wreckage of a war-torn city when he finds a beautiful glass bottle. Thinking he’s found a genie, he happily uncorks it – but instead he’s only found a lowly bottle imp, a magical being named Jonah that will serve him but doesn’t have the power to grant wishes. However, the imp promises to lead Ali Baba to a great treasure. Jonah leads Ali Baba to a goblin camp, where he finds two beautiful women sleeping peacefully: one is the legendary Sleeping Beauty, and the other the powerful Snow Queen. Ali Baba awakens the two women with true love’s kiss, but neither woman returns the gesture – the Snow Queen is far too intent on vengeance and Briar Rose does nothing but yell at her rescuer. But Jonah has a plan to bring everyone to their happily ever after through the power of storytelling...

Fairest is a spin-off from the main Fables comic book series. You could read this book without reading the others, and I think you’d be OK. Some things might not make sense – readers might wonder why the Snow Queen is sleeping in a bed with Sleeping Beauty (it’s a major plot point in Fables) or why a bottle imp in a fantasy world is intimately acquainted with American pop culture – but as a fairy tale with romance and adventure, Fairest entertains very well.

I enjoyed learning more about Briar Rose and her origins – while we’ve all heard the story of Sleeping Beauty and the curse cast on her by a snubbed fairy, it’s rarely fleshed out as it is here. For the first time, her fairy godmothers have names and personalities. The practical applications of their gifts are explored, showing that precise wording is a must when casting magic spells:
Fairy Godmother: “I am Alyas the Noble. On my honor I promise that she’ll sing like a nightingale.”
Sleeping Beauty: “That was one blessing I wish she’d worded differently. As a metaphor it’s great, but the more powerful magic gets interpreted literally. So now, when I try to sing, I actually sound like a bird chirping.”

The story also takes one of the major villains from earlier Fables storylines – the Snow Queen Lumi – and slowly thaws her frozen heart, allowing her to love and hope after years of anger and isolation. She spends most of the graphic novel cosplaying as Lady Gaga, which is unfortunate because she’s so darn pretty in the traditional Victorian-era princess gowns we usually see her wearing, but it’s a new look for a character turning in a new direction. I get that, really.

Briar Rose also suffers from poor sartorial choices. The bright green eye shadow caked on her face ages the princess and clashes with her red hair. By the by, wasn’t she a brunette in earlier stories? Really, the only person who comes off looking good is Ali Baba, who looks just the way Hollywood would cast a hero from the Arabian Nights stories. Well, that’s not quite true. Jonah the Bottle Imp is both cute and otherworldly, and the fairies look great. It’s just too bad that our two leading ladies are not quite at their fairest.

Side note: Of all the women featured on the cover, only one of them actually appears in the story. Talk about false advertisement! I mean, I know that the series is written for fans of Fables, but shouldn’t the cover feature the characters that are actually in the book? Later stories will cover some of these famous princesses, but still… ( )
  makaiju | Mar 14, 2014 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Willingham, BillAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jimenez, PhilIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Dalhouse, AndrewIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Farmer, MarkIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hughes, AdamCover artistsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Klein, ToddIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lanning, AndyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McManus, ShawnIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pepoy, AndrewIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sadowski, SteveIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sturges, MatthewAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Follows the misadventures of Briar Rose immediately after the events of FABLES #107(collected in FABLES VOL. 16: SUPER TEAM), in which she was stolen away by the goblin army.

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