06 November 2009

Review: Fables 1--Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham

I had heard a lot of great things about the Fables series of graphic novels by Bill Willingham. So I bought the first few books and read the first volume, Legends in Exile, for the fall Read-a-thon.

This first book in the series includes some background material so we understand how all the different characters from fairy tales, legends, and fables ended up together and in the world of the mundanes (as we normal beings are called), but really the novel is a murder mystery.

As with all mystery books, it's difficult to write a summary without giving away too much. It starts out when Jack (of beanstalk fame) discovers that his girlfriend (Rose Red) is missing and her apartment is splattered with blood. He races to the head of security, Bigby Wolf (as in Big Bad), and reports the crime. Wolf then confers with Snow White, director of operations, and an investigation is started.

That's the bare-bones version. The fun of this book comes from the sarcastic humor, quick one-liners, and (for lack of a better word) art jokes. For example, in one panel, Bigby, who is drawn as a human, has a wolf shadow. In another of King Cole's home, you see three fiddles in the background. I enjoyed studying the art as much as I did reading the story.

I couldn't find any samples of the pages to post here, but Amazon has a "look inside" feature, so you can get an idea.

I had enough fun with volume 1 that I'm looking forward to more Fables. My understanding is that there are quite a few of them, so I have a lot of good reading ahead.

Legends in Exile at Powell's
Legends in Exile at Amazon
These 3 links lead to affiliate programs.

Published by DC Comics, 2003
ISBN-13: 9781563899423
Challenges: 100+, 999, Clear Off Your Shelves
YTD: 81
Source: Bought (see review policy)
Rating: B+


Julie P. 11/6/09, 7:48 AM  

I never thought I'd appreciate graphic novels, but that's one of the great things about blogging. I've expanded my horizons.

Heather 11/6/09, 10:01 AM  

I am so glad you liked Legends in Exile. Fables just gets better and better as you go, as the stories build on themselves and you get to know all the characters better. You are in for a whole lot more fun!

Vasilly 11/6/09, 11:50 AM  

So glad you liked Fables! It's one of my favorite series. Heather's right, the series gets better as you go. Happy reading.

Shona 11/6/09, 12:32 PM  

I have very recently got in to graphic novels. All thanks to Emma -A Victorian Romance. Wonderfully illustrated series.

I have seen Fables in my library might pick it up one of these days

Kailana 11/6/09, 12:47 PM  

I am so glad that you liked this!

Dorte H 11/6/09, 1:31 PM  

I don´t read graphic novels very often, but this one sounds rather tempting.

I don´t know if it is my computer or your link, but whenever I try to click on the ´look inside´ feature in Amazon, I am sent back to your page. (I enjoy being here, Beth, but I think I will run off to visit some other friends now).

Unknown 11/6/09, 3:22 PM  

I just this week picked up a copy of this myself, been enjoying it so far! (although I want to go back and see if I missed the Bigby panel!

Ana S. 11/6/09, 3:49 PM  

You do have a lot of good reading ahead! They get better and better :D You're so right about the art jokes. Oh, I just love Fables.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks 11/8/09, 1:03 PM  

I haven't read any of the FABLES books, but I think I'd like this for a change of pace.

Appropriate for children? I'm thinking of my 11 yr old son ....

Jenners 11/8/09, 8:41 PM  

This sounds so creative and fun! I think I'll have to check this out sometime. Thanks for the review.

Anonymous,  11/9/09, 2:42 PM  

I just picked this up at the library. Glad to see you enjoyed it.

Eva @ One Swede Read 11/10/09, 6:38 PM  

I'm a little jealous that you've just started reading these - I wish I could "un-read" them and read them again for the first time! :)

Veens 11/11/09, 4:19 AM  

I have never read any graphic novels after reaching the reading age...what's the word for it :D

I was always reluctant to put my money into buying graphic novels.. but you all make it sound so good... i feel someday soon i will go and buy one of the books you mention. :)

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