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Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile (2002)

by Bill Willingham

Other authors: Craig Hamilton (Illustrator), James Jean (Cover artist), Todd Klein (Letterer), Steve Leialoha (Illustrator), Lan Medina (Illustrator)1 more, Sherilyn van Valkenburgh (Colorist)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Bill Willingham's Fables (Vol. 1, Issues 1-5)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,9181412,165 (4)282
Who killed Rose Red? In Fabletown, where fairy tale legends live alongside regular New Yorkers, the question is all anyone can talk about. But only the Big Bad Wolf can actually solve the case - and, along with Rose's sister Snow White, keep the Fabletown community from coming apart at the seams.
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» See also 282 mentions

English (138)  Norwegian (1)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (141)
Showing 1-5 of 138 (next | show all)
This didn't do it for me. Not sure why. Art was decent enough, though not gorgeous, and I love when play with, subvert, twist, and otherwise reimagine stories. ( )
  elam11 | May 30, 2020 |
I read this because we've been playing the TT game "The Wolf Among Us," and I was curious about the world. I do enjoy both versions of the world (game and graphic novel), though they are ever so slightly different in tone and characterization. Worth a read for fairy tale fans who don't mind their tales slightly altered and a bit grim. ( )
  ca.bookwyrm | May 18, 2020 |

“Fables” is a wonderful series that shows the power of good storytelling, and how to reuse classic fairy tales.

Though the idea of twisting old fables has been around for a while, Fables does it so well I can’t imagine a better way to retell them. Conventions of the old are present, yet are subtly reflected through a modern lens. It is a honeyed mixture of the familiar and the tried and true. Each individual volume (baring a few) is interesting in is singular plot and builds the overarching narrative of the whole series. The world-building and the idea of our world and a fantasy one coming together is more believable than expected. It makes all the actions even more interesting and fun to read.

The characters are where the story shines. The main cast is fleshed out and flawed to the bone. They add layers to the over-arching plot and surprises around every corner. Hero and villain often change roles, or make thought-provoking decisions. The villains are likable and have interesting motivations. Even if you aren't rooting for evil characters, watching them work is a good time.

The art is all over the place, drawn by many different artists over a long period of time, varying volume to volume. The framing and story is usually top-notch, but some of the artwork verges on the bland and flat compared to the high points in the series. The good thing is, if a style does not jive with you, in a few chapters a new one will most likely switch things up.

The start of this series is utterly convincing. However, it does falter toward the end. Perhaps because the series was cancelled, but a lot of things being set up are never explored. You could call it an abrupt end. However even at its worst, this series is still as good as most series at their best.

“Fables” has something for everyone. The action is harrowing, the character interactions are fascinating, and the fantasy world is epic and deep. There were multiple chapters that had me laughing and/or crying. I would recommend this to any fans of fantasy and any lover of comics. ( )
  LSPopovich | Apr 8, 2020 |
This group of graphic novels came highly recommended to me. They're kind of an addition to all the favorite fairy tales that we heard (or read) growing up. In short, Willingham takes the fairy tale characters and places them in modern times. There has been a hostile takeover of the fairy lands and the characters were forced out of their homelands by the Adversary and are living in the New York area. Being immortal, they've been living in America for centuries. They've adapted and have their own underground society.

In this first novel, Snow White's sister, Rose Red, has disappeared and the only trace is a lot of blood in her apartment building. The Big Bad Wolf (who is now human and goes by the name "Bigby") plays the lead detective with Snow White (who is divorced from Prince Charming) as his sidekick.

This novel was very imaginative and fun. I can't wait to see where Willingham goes with the story. ( )
  melrailey | Apr 7, 2020 |
Been meaning to read this for a while, enjoyed it a lot. Intriguing, well written, and done without being cheesy or irritating. On to the next one... ( )
  6loss | Nov 7, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 138 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Willingham, BillAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hamilton, CraigIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jean, JamesCover artistsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Klein, ToddLetterersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leialoha, SteveIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Medina, LanIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
van Valkenburgh, SherilynColoristsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bond, ShellyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Series

Bill Willingham's Fables (Vol. 1, Issues 1-5)

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Epigraph
Dedication
To Shelly Bond - Intrepid Vertigo editor, who insisted on taking FABLES when I was trying to sell her another idea entirely.
First words
Once upon a time....
Quotations
'You try being married for almost a thousand years without a few ups and downs along the way.'
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Disambiguation notice
This entry has mismatched title (Fables Vol. 1) and ISBN (Vol. 2).
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Information from the Portuguese (Brazil) Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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