14 January 2013

Review: Jack of Fables: Americana by Bill Willingham

In Americana, the fourth installment of Bill Willingham's Jack of Fables books, Jack is (as usual) looking for easy money to put him back in the lap of luxury. But before he can put his latest scheme in motion, he has to put Humpty Dumpty together again. And that he does.

Setting out with the egg, Pathetic Fallacy, and Raven (a Native American Fable), Jack jumps a train to Americana, the home of the New World Fables. There we meet various people of legend, including Huck Finn and Roaring Twenties gangsters.

Unfortunately for Jack, his enemies have hired the great Natty Bumpo to track him down. That guy was one serious tracker, and no matter where Jack hides, Natty eventually finds him. Thanks to the self-sacrificing Paul Bunyan, Jack and his friends escape capture. Will they find the legendary golden treasure? And if they do, will they be able to hold on to it?

Although the story line in Americana is not my favorite of the fable books, Willingham and his team are at their funniest. There are several (adult) laugh-out-loud moments that make the book well worth your while. The scan (click to enlarge) is from when Jack tries hiding out in Canada. Apologies to my friends north of the border, but I had to share this page.

The book ends with tangential story of the Fables putting on Hamlet, starring Alice of Wonderland fame. Although a few scenes made me chuckle, I'm not quite sure what it has to do with the larger story arc. Perhaps I just missed it.

As with all the Fables books, a number of artists worked on Americana, and this entry was nicely drawn. The drawing style varies a bit throughout the series, and Americana's illustrations were visually appealing to me. In the scan, you can see what a great job Jack did when he reconstructed Humpty Dumpty.

Buy Jack of Fables: Americana at a bookstore near you.
DC Comics / Vertigo, 2008
ISBN-13: 9781401219796
Rating: B+
Source: Bought (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy).

5 comments:

Zibilee 1/14/13, 1:36 PM  

I am not sure if I would like the shift to Americana, but this series is so promising that I almost don't care. I have been meaning to read this series for the longest time, and every time someone posts on it, I say the same thing: that I need to read it! I will stand on that again, and add that I need to read it soon! Excellent review and illustrations today!

Daryl E 1/14/13, 2:51 PM  

i added this series to my list of 'gonna read it' . thanks for the review

Jenners 1/14/13, 3:01 PM  

I do want to try more graphic novels and this seems like one I could get into.

Julie P. 1/14/13, 7:23 PM  

This one seems interesting to say the least.

Marg 1/16/13, 3:38 AM  

I am just about to start the Jack series, so I will be interested to see how it compared to the actual Fables series.

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All content and photos (except where noted) copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads 2008-2016. All rights reserved.

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