Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fables Volume 1 through 8




Comics were never something I was ever really interested in. I wasn't "above" them, nor did I think the people who read them were "below" me. I just never thought about it. When a friend of mine introduced the series "Fables" to me, it would be a few  years until I would actually read them.

Now that I've read eight volumes in the "Fables" series, there are many reasons why I will probably be a comics-reader for life. Shall I tell you my reasons why I'm loving "Fables" and why you, too, could enjoy it?

1. Comics, I've come to realize, are like reading TV. A good TV series has characters you care about, dialogue that is witty, and story arcs that are encompassing, that take up an entire series, as well as little story arcs thrown in to further the plot and character development. Each 25-page comic is like  an hour-long episode. Each episode ends with a cliffhanger (unless it's the final issue in an on-going story, then you've got the denouement). Each 25-page comic takes you no more than about 15-20 minutes to read, plus there's no breaks for commercials. You can simply turn the page when you come to an ad. 

2. Do you like plays? If you're a fan of theater, comics are theater on paper. There are entrances and exits, but since you don't need to worry about amazing theater technology or special effects or costly budgets (i.e. "Spider-man: Turn off the Dark"), the story lines in these dramas can go anywhere. The other reason they are like theater is because it's all dialogue. Sometimes there's a narrator (a certain character pushing the story along), but normally the story is told through all dialogue (bubbles). I'm a huge fan of this because dialogue is my favorite part of writing. For some, it is a challenge. If you want to learn how to write dialogue, read comics. Since I love dialogue, I will just continue reading comics. 

3. It is, in it's truest sense, a "fractured fairy tale." 

4. I have nothing against superhero comics, but if you're not a fan of the superhero, than this might be something you would enjoy. You also might enjoy it because it deals with characters we are forever in love with, or at least familiar with. If you know Snow White, The Big Bad Wolf, Little Boy Blue, Bluebeard, Cinderella, Beast, Beauty, the Frog Prince, Old King Cole, Prince Charming and all those other characters of different fairy tales throughout history, you will probably enjoy this series. But beware, it is a series that's for "mature readers." Disney it ain't

The basis of the story is that all these characters are actually alive and have been forced out of their homelands. These homelands are like parallel realities, so they are actually living.  Most of these characters are immortal because of people in our reality love and invest their time with them. For example, Snow White (usually just Snow or White, never both) was deputy mayor of Fabletown (where the "Fables" live in New York). Obviously, she's not going to have some fans with her work in Fable politics. In one of the story arcs, Goldilocks (of all characters) is not a fan of Snow. She actually open fires on Snow. Aims the gun at her head. Snow doesn't die because so many (I'm assuming) little girls believe in her. She recovers, but in later issues she uses the aid of a cane to walk...so she's not completely 100%. 

Back to the main storyline: The Fables have evacuated their homelands and they are technically refugees in our world. A big, ugly bad guy known simple as "The Adversary" has taken over their homelands. They are mainly in New York state. The animal Fables that can't pass as normal humans live up-state in the country. The people-like Fables live in New York City. Obviously there is magic at work to keep them "hidden" so they can co-exist with the normal (mundane) people of our world. 

There is so much more going on, especially after reading eight volumes (which is technically 51 different issues). The story lines are exciting and clever. If you're a fan of witty dialogue and humorous moments within serious/scary scenes, you will enjoy the writing. And yes, I said writing. If you can notice the "writing" in a TV series, you will notice the writing in a comic. It is super good. Like, you can't put it down and you keep reading and reading, good

That's saying something, right? Well, I know most Oscar-winning movies I don't normally enjoy, but I would read an Eisner-It's also won numerous  Eisner awards, which is like the Oscars  for comics. That's saying something, right? Well, I know most Oscar-winning movies I don't normally enjoy, but I would read an Eisner-winning comic.