03 August 2015

Review: Fables 22: Farewell by Bill Willingham

Fables 22: Farewell by Bill WillinghamOh my, what to say about the final volume of the Fables series? Fables 22: Farewell by Bill Willingham) is a collection of "final stories," illustrated by Mark Buckingham and a host of other artists, which conclude some story arcs and leave others in a satisfying place.

The chapters within this volume range from a single page to several, and there are at least two prose (non-illustrated) segments as well. I particularly liked the stories about the Wolf family (Bigby, Snow, and the cubs), the Lady in the Lake, Rose Red, and King Cole. We get a peek into the distant future and learn what will become of the characters and their families . . . kind of.

I say kind of because some of the story arcs end right at a moment of transition, meaning that Willingham has shown us the characters' paths but is not leading us down them. It's up to us to figure out what may happen next. In other cases, we are given something more definitive (deaths, happily ever afters).

In general, I liked Farewell. I'm okay with some ambiguity, and I don't think the Fables universe will ever be fully at peace or at rest. I'm not so sure what I think about the integration of the mundy world (I don't want to say more for fear of spoilers), but I can live with it.

I thought it was fun that all the Fables artists had a chance to add to this final volume, but at the same time I was grateful that Buckingham drew the bulk of the book. I totally understand why so many artists contributed to Farewell, but the variety of styles meant that some of the continuity between stories was lost. Still, all in all the art -- especially the fold-out cover and fold-out end to the final story -- was fabulous. The scan is an example of Buckingham's work.

There a few extras in the back of the book, including notes from Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham, some reproductions of swag, biographies of all the people who worked on the series, plus a key to the fabulous cover.

I'm sad to say good-bye to Fables. I enjoyed the crazy journey and learning about how the Fables characters coped in our world while trying to defeat the enemy who exiled them from their own worlds. It may be the end to main Fables stories, but I'm happy to have a few spin-off volumes left to read.

Good luck to the Fables team in the years to come. I can't wait to see what else they have to offer us.


bermudaonion 8/3/15, 8:51 AM  

This series sure has a lot of fans!

Vicki 8/3/15, 12:41 PM  

I've just recently started to be interested in Fables so this series sounds interesting.

Daryl 8/3/15, 1:07 PM  

i wish i was a fan

Sue Jackson 8/3/15, 5:47 PM  

I hadn't heard of this before - it sounds intriguing. Lovely graphics! Thanks for the heads-up.


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Buried In Print 8/8/15, 7:26 PM  

Oh, my! I had no idea that the series was coming to an end. I'm still back around book five or six somewhere, but at least that means a lot of good reading yet ahead. Glad to hear that the "farewell" was, at least, mostly satisfying!

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