Reading Journal Entry: Fables Vol. 1: Legends in Exile

This graphic novel series is one of the more successful non-superhero lines out there, and for good reason. It's a charming revisitation of fairy-tale characters we are all familiar with from childhood. This time, they're living in New York City, and they've got problems. Marital problems, revenue problems, and an unsolved missing-persons case, among others. Willingham uses the conventions of the traditional whodunnit - confrontations with suspects, forensics, the gruff detective with a past (Bigby Wolf) and his female supervisor, between whom sparks of attraction and conflict fly - to showcase the world of fables he's created. Old King Cole is ruler of the fables, of course, but Snow White is the power behind the throne. Beauty and the Beast are on the skids. One of the three little pigs is hiding out in Wolf's apartment after a bender. Prince Charming, SW's ex, is putting the moves on random waitresses.

The big 'reveal' isn't exactly a stumper, but there is a more-or-less satisfying wrap-up. Fables is a nice conceit, and a much better treatment of the same concept than the Sisters Grimm book I reviewed earlier. There are some nice artistic flourishes (the backgrounds of Snow White's office among them) but I would have liked to see more playfulness - there was definitely unexplored potential.

I think most comic book fans who are looking for something a little different would enjoy this.

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