Book Review: Fables 4: March of the Wooden Soldiers by Bill Willingham

AuthorBill Willingham
TitleFables 4: March of the Wooden Soldiers
Publication Info: New York : DC Comics, c2012.
ISBN: 9781401202224

The Fables series returns to a full story arc in this collection as the Fables’ sanctuary in New York is invaded by forces of the Adversary.  I liked this one better than the other compilations thus far as the characters are developing and growing on me, and this story was well-constructed.  Even the villains, while derivative of Agent Smith in The Matrix, were a clever and interesting conceit.

Recommended books:
Rating: ***

Book Review: Fables 3: Storybook Love by Bill Willingham

AuthorBill Willingham
TitleFables 3: Storybook Love
Publication Info: New York : DC Comics, c2012.
ISBN: 9781401202569
The third volume of the Fables series collects unrelated short stories – some better than others – loosely themed around love.  The last story about the Lilliputian men escaping to our world and the adventure to bring back women to their community is my favorite.

Rating: **

Book Review: Fables: Animal Farm by Bill Willingham

AuthorBill Willingham
TitleFables: Animal Farm 
Publication Info: Vertigo (2003), Paperback, 128 pages
ISBN: 140120077X

Previously by same author: Fables: Legends in Exile

Summary/Review: The second volume of the Fables series has Snow White traveling with her rebellious sister to The Farm in upstate New York where the mythical beings who cannot disguise themselves as humans live.  The animals and other creatures are not happy with being imprisoned on the Farm which leads to a rebellion and a plot very much derivative of the George Orwell novel that makes up the subtitle.  I found the story of this installment more engaging and the plotting improved over its predecessor, but I still feel it’s not living up to its great premise.  The artwork can be reminiscent of Apartment 3G, and distinguishing many of the male characters is difficult.  Still it’s entertaining brain candy and I may check out another volume.
Recommended books: The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde and Click, Clack, Moo by Doreen Cronin.
Rating **1/2

Book Review: Fables: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham

Author: Bill Willingham
TitleFables: Legends in Exile
Publication Info: New York : DC Comics, c2002

Characters from fables and folklore have been forced out of their magical lands and forced to reside in New York, many disguising themselves to look like “mundane” humans.  In this first story, Bigby Wolf (the anthropomorphized Big Bad Wolf) is the sheriff of Fabletown investigating the brutal murder of Rose Red, with the assistance/interference of her sister Snow White (who is deputy mayor).  The story follows a basic police procedural routine leading up to a parlor room summation that is commented on within the story.  The premise of Fables intrigued me, but as it is basically a detective story with requisite comic book gore thrown around, it didn’t quite deliver.  Still there are enough elements of a hidden past and hints of a greater story to make me want to try to read more.
Recommended books: The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde

Rating: ** 1/2