Sunday, October 4, 2015

*Review* Fables: Happily Ever After by Bill Willingham

Genre: Graphic Novel
Published: May 5, 2015
Pages: 200
Ages: 16+


In the aftermath of Bigby Wolf’s destruction, a shift in the Fables’ underlying power structure threatens to split their community into two warring factions - one led by Snow White, the other by her sister Rose Red. Accelerating this process are the machinations of an unsuspected enemy within, who brings Bigby back from the dead with all of his lethal power but with none of his redeeming humanity. 

After thirteen years and tales beyond counting, the saga of Fabletown is drawing to a close - but it’s not going gentle into that good night. With HAPPILY EVER AFTER, the creative juggernaut of Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha and Andrew Pepoy are joined by an armada of special guest talents - including Matthew Sturges, Eric Shanower, Shawn McManus, Jae Lee, Terry Moore, Russ Braun and Chrissie Zullo - for the penultimate chapter in the celebrated FABLES chronicles! Collects issues #141-149.


I received a copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program in the hopes that I would leaven an honest review.

This is only the third ever graphic novel I've ever read because they don't appeal to me in general. I loved the cover and title of this book and didn't exactly pay attention to the description when I entered the giveaway. But this book may have converted me. For one thing, it's #21 in the series and very close to the end, so I've basically missed out on most of the story, but I didn't really feel completely lost or clueless. I do want to know what happened previously to get to this point. I, for real, care about that and really didn't expect to going in to the story.

A large part of the appeal of this book, for me, was probably that it's fairy tales reimagined, sort of like Once Upon a Time. Another thing that helped me a lot was that the cast was introduced before the story started, so I could go and check that out for reference when I was confused by a character or just couldn't remember exactly how they fit in to the story. 

Because it's a graphic novel, I'm supposed to talk about the illustrations too, but with my limited comic book/graphic novel background, I don't really feel like I have a good frame of reference. I could say they're some of the best illustrations I've ever seen, but that's not really saying much. I did appreciate that there wasn't a lot of page bleedover for single frames, and for the most part each page read left to right, top to bottom, like a standard novel, so I wasn't getting confused about which pane to read next. Additionally, the dialogue in most of the panes seemed to be limited to one character, or it was written in a way that it was very obvious what order to read the dialogue bubbles in. These are areas where I find myself most confused by comics, which is why they generally don't appeal to me, but there was no confusion here. 

Overall, I give this book 5 out of 5 stars because I did enjoy reading it and I actually want to read more. - Katie 

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About the Author

In the late 1970s to early 1980s he drew fantasy ink pictures for the Dungeons & Dragons Basic and Expert game rulebooks. He first gained attention for his 1980s comic book series Elementals published by Comico, which he both wrote and drew. However, for reasons unknown, the series had trouble maintaining an original schedule, and Willingham's position in the industry remained spotty for many years. He contributed stories to Green Lantern and started his own independent, black-and-white comics series Coventry which lasted only 3 issues. He also produced the pornographic series Ironwood for Eros Comix. 

In the late 1990s Willingham reestablished himself as a prolific writer. He produced the 13-issue Pantheon for Lone Star Press and wrote a pair of short novels about the modern adventures of the hero Beowulf, published by the writer's collective, Clockwork Storybook, of which Willingham was a founding member. In the early 2000s he began writing extensively for DC Comics, including the limited series Proposition Player, a pair of limited series about the Greek witch Thessaly from The Sandman, and most notably the popular series Fables.

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