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Fables, book 1 : Legends in exile by Bill…
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Fables, book 1 : Legends in exile (original 2002; edition 2002)

by Bill Willingham

Series: Fables (1)

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3,1961261,744 (4)263
Member:Johnathanberube
Title:Fables, book 1 : Legends in exile
Authors:Bill Willingham
Info:New York : Vertigo/DC Comics, c2002.
Collections:Your library
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Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham (2002)

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English (125)  Norwegian (1)  French (1)  All languages (127)
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An unnamed Adversary goes on the attack and forces hundreds of beings we know only from (mostly European) fairy tales and legends to escape to the only world the Adversary doesn't care about conquering -- Earth -- and to dwell in hiding amongst us "mundanes." A general amnesty is agreed upon and all past crimes are forgiven as they try to live peaceably in the underground community of Fabletown. Centuries pass with presumably no incident until Rose Red goes missing and her apartment is found trashed and covered in her blood. Her sister Snow White, Fabletown's second in command, fears the worse while Bigby (i.e., the Big Bad Wolf), the community's sheriff, immediately tackles the investigation into Rose Red's disappearance.

I was definitely interested in checking out this comic series after hearing so much acclaim for it, but I was a little unsure of how much I would actually enjoy it -- fantasy isn't usually my cup of tea and the comparisons to the Sandman comics, which I didn't care for much, made me wary. It turns out I loved this first book right away. The crime story always appeals to me, even if it follows a set pattern. Here, there's a bit of tongue-in-cheek, really throughout the whole book, but especially in regards to the standard crime procedural -- see, for instance, Bigby's "parlor scene," which doesn't take place in a parlor. The mystery here is well plotted and concludes in a way that makes sense but that isn't at all obvious.

Of course, a big thing for me is also the characterizations. Some of the characters were less well drawn than others (notably, King Cole who just sort of shows up to say a few lines but doesn't have much of a history or character at this point), and some were perhaps a tad bit clichéd (e.g., Rose Red the party girl). But for the most part, I found the characters varied and interesting. I particularly liked Snow White and Bigby, both as characters in their own right and as a dynamic duo.

All in all, I enjoyed the writing and the illustrations (fairly realistic, especially considering the subjects) in this first book. I'm definitely moving on to the next book in the series, as I want to learn more about these characters and see if more is revealed about the Adversary and that whole backstory (which I suspect that will be the case, especially given that the prose epilogue goes into further detail about the refugees and the first meeting between Snow White, Rose Red, and Bigby). My fingers are crossed that I will like that as much as I enjoyed this title. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Mar 19, 2016 |
It might not be a book for everyone (of course it isn't), but I loved the story behind this! Using well-known fable characters from Happily Ever After and inserting them into the real world of NYC (while in hiding), we encountered numerous characters from our childhood acting parts that we would have never expected.

Snow White, acting as second-in-command behind King Cole, who is the mayor of Fabletown, faces major dilemmas when she discovers her estranged sister, Rose Red, has been murdered! Forcing Detective Bigby Wolf (Big Bad Wolf in human form, anyone?) to take her on as his partner in solving the mystery, we encounter many strange situations, characters, and tragedies that led up to the current day.

While the mystery is pressing with curiosity, the real story of Fabletown is what will definitely draw the readers in. What happened that caused all of the fable characters to go into hiding? Who is the REAL bad guy in the story? I don't know about you, but I'm dying to read the rest of the series to find out the truth. ( )
1 vote ShayLRoss | Mar 16, 2016 |
I found this story a little...well, mundane, ironically. Maybe shows like Once Upon a Time have made this concept seem a little common, and I know the comic is older, but I came to it later, so. The art was...cluttered, kind of distracting, overly full without really adding to the story. Very classic noir story, hardboiled (Big Bad Wolf) detective, crying lady with the nice gams (Snow White), etc, etc, etc.

I was fully prepared to give this three stars until reading the very short story at the end. I *really* didn't want to read it, but kind of bullied myself into it anyway - but it really humanized some of the characters in a way that saved the story from mediocrity.

There is about a 65% chance I'll check another volume out of the library. ( )
  chessakat | Mar 1, 2016 |
Fictional characters have fled their homeland, which was conquered by The Adversary, and formed a new community on the fringes of a human city. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Wow this comic series is so far up my street! So excite!

Having played Telltales game 'The Wolf Among Us' I just had to check out the comics it was based on. Man, it did not disappoint.

The story centers around Fables such as Snow White, Big Bad Wolf, Prince Charming, Nat King Cole etc etc. They have been driven from their lands by 'The Adversary' and are now trying to eek out an existence all jumbled together in New York City. Rose Red is missing, presumed murdered and its up to detective Bigby Wolf to find out what happened.

I LOVE fairy-tale retellings but this was something else entirely - taking the fairy-tale characters and making a whole new unconventional story for them. I just loved it! I could fan-girl about discovering this series forever. LOVE LOVE LOVE!

Can't wait to get stuck into the entire series. Bill Willingham, you sexy beast you.

( )
  4everfanatical | Feb 5, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bill Willinghamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hamilton, CraigIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
James JeanCover artistsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Klein, ToddIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leialoha, SteveIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Medina, LanIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bond, ShellyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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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.… (more)

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