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Fairest, Vol. 1 by Bill Willingham
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Fairest, Vol. 1 (edition 2012)

by Bill Willingham (Author), Phil Jimenez (Illustrator)

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1941160,720 (3.74)13
Member:MikeBriggs
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
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Fiction, Graphic Novel, Comics, Fables, Fables Spin-off

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Fairest: Wide Awake by Bill Willingham (Author)

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» See also 13 mentions

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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 |
What happens when a man kisses two sleeping beauties? To whom is he "true love"? There's only one way to find out. Read this 1st volume aside of Bill Willingham's Fables spin-off "Fairest".

There's a great flashback bonus as well. Make sure you read all the way to then end of the graphic novel! ( )
  Angelina-Justice | Feb 3, 2014 |
How wonderful that there are people who can look at stories that are centuries old and still find fresh ways of interacting with them. I have not yet read "Fables" (it's on my to-do list now), so this riff on Sleeping Beauty and Ali Baba (amongst others) was a wonderful surprise. ( )
  Bert.Cielen | Oct 16, 2013 |
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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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