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Jack of Fables Vol. 1: The (Nearly) Great…

Jack of Fables Vol. 1: The (Nearly) Great Escape (2007)

by Bill Willingham, Tony Akins (Illustrator), Andrew Pepoy (Illustrator), Matthew Sturges (Author), Daniel Vozzo (Colorist)

Other authors: James Jean (Cover artist)

Series: Jack of Fables (volume 1)

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Jack of Fables, Volume 1: The (Nearly) Great Escape by Bill Willingham is the first volume in this off-shoot series from the Fables. I think that if you are a fan of Fables, then you will certainly enjoy Jack’s story as well. Jack is a bad boy. Handsome, arrogant egomaniac Jack is fun to follow as he gets himself kidnapped to a strange prison called the Golden Boughs Retirement Home. This volume introduces some new Fables that we haven’t met before and catches up with one or two that we do know.

Overall I prefer Jack in smaller doses but although he himself isn’t all that likeable he is humorous and highly readable. This story opens new avenues that will impact all the Fables and I am sure we will be exploring more about Golden Boughs and Mr. Revise in the future. I have already requested Volumes 2 and 3 of Jack’s adventures from my local library and I am looking forward to continuing with the fun. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Jan 9, 2016 |
My blog post about this book is at this link ( )
  SuziQoregon | Apr 23, 2014 |

And so Jack's tale begins. I didn't dislike Jack in the Fables series but I didn't particularily like him either. I am surprised that he was picked for his own spinoff. Anyway, I did enjoy this book and am intrigued by Revise and the Page sisters. ( )
  renrav | Sep 22, 2013 |
If you've read much of this blog you know that I am a huge fan of Bill Willingham's Fables comic. I'm also a bit of a completist when it comes to my book and graphic novel collections. Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges spun Fables character Jack Horner (aka Jack the Giant Killer, Jack and the Beanstalk, etc...) off into his own book at the beginning of the Fables collection #6 (Homelands) after the character had stolen money from the Fables, and set himself up as a movie mogul, making 2 blockblusters about himself (naturally). Sherrif Beast tracked Jack down, and after informing him that his actions had not only betrayed his own kind, but could have blown the Fables cover to the Mundane world gave him an ultimatum: take the briefcase full of money that Beast was offering, and hit the road or refuse and be arrested, and face execution for his actions. Jack took the first option and this moved him out of the parent book and into his own spin off.

The cover of the collection has a picture of a running Jack complete with briefcase and a protest of the Fables demanding he leave Fabletown, Jack is wearing a t-shirt bearing the legend: Ensemble Books are for Losers. It's typical of the wit readers have come to expect from the books.

Jack probably had to be moved out of Fables. He claims he's too large a character to be held by a book of ensemble characters, but the character is obnoxious, narcissistic, selfish, self destructive and abrasive. He tends to distract from the main story by being himself.

The (Nearly) Great Escape contains the 1st 5 issues of Jack of Fables. The opening finds him with briefcase in hand trying to hitch a lift by the side of the road. He's picked up by a van in the control of Priscilla Page, after a struggle Jack is taken to The Golden Boughs Retirement Community. For the uninitiated some explanation is required here. A group of characters known as The Literals (Fables readers who do not read Jack's book met them in the Great Fables Crossover) use their powers to control stories. As a result they have taken a number of storybook characters prisoner at their retirement community of Golden Boughs.

Although none too happy at being confined against his will once Jack's fallen into bed with Goldilocks (yes, she survived her encounter with Snow and Bigby way back in Fables collection #3 Storybook Love, and no she has not changed) he thinks it may not be so bad, but being Jack is drawn into an escape attempt masterminded by Goldilocks.

The Literals managed to prevent or recapture most of the escaping inmates, although Jack remained at large at the end of the book.

There were some wonderful new characters introduced in Jack of Fables: the old Colchester cannon; Humpty Dumpty, Paul Bunyan and his daydreaming blue ox Babe and the Literals, especially their patriarch Gary the Pathetic Fallacy, who will become important later on.

Tony Akins art is a particular highlight. If anything it is cleaner and brighter than Mark Buckingham's work on Fables, as with Fable, though, the pencilling suits the book perfectly.
2 vote EJAYS17 | Aug 28, 2011 |
I didn't think I would like the Jack of Fables spin-off as much as Fables, as Jack was one of my least favorite characters, but I am loving it! Jack is a riot and I love seeing him leap from one madcap predicament to the next. And I love all of the new Fables that we get to meet! ( )
  bookgirlokc | Jul 13, 2010 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bill Willinghamprimary authorall editionscalculated
Akins, TonyIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Pepoy, AndrewIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Sturges, MatthewAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Vozzo, DanielColoristmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Jean, JamesCover artistsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Jack of Fables is a spin-off of the comic book Fables, both of which are published by DC Comics as part of that company's Vertigo imprint. It shows the adventures of Jack Horner after his exile from Fabletown. A preview of the series was shown in Fables #50, and the series itself debuted in July 2006. It is written by Fables writer Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges.

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Jack is thrown into a prison-like "retirement" community for wayward Fables, where he discovers a sinister plot to eliminate all traces of magic from the Mundane World.

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