(Not Really a Review of) Fables, Volumes 1 and 2, by Bill Willingham

This has been a really hard week.  I don’t want to get into specifics, because it’s all too fresh and too personal, but just know that I’ve been feeling some intense feelings all over the place this week.  Of course, this has affected my reading.  I’m reading four books right now but my heart is not really in any one of them.  I know, undoubtedly, that I’ll get my reading groove back again.  And probably sooner rather than later, because I’m a capital-R Reader.  It’s what I do!

One thing I HAVE read this week was Volume 2 of the comic/graphic novel Fables, by Bill Willingham.  Jenny at Reading the End recommended it to me after I wrote about how much I dug the graphic novel Nimona by Noelle Stevenson.  (She also recommended Saga and Lumberjanes but I’ve not yet tried those.)

FablesI liked these two volumes.  Fables is set in modern-day (well, 2003, I guess, when they were published) New York City.  Fairy tale characters like Snow White, the Big Bad Wolf (now in human form, known as Bigby Wolf) and Bluebeard are living incognito, in a secret society they call Fabletown, in the big city.  They and all the other folklore figures (both human and animal) have been forced out of their homelands by The Adversary.  After reading the first two volumes, I have no idea who this Adversary is.  I assume I will find out eventually!  In the first volume, Bigby Wolf (Fabletown’s sherrif) is investigating the apparent murder of Rose Red, Snow White’s sister – there’s a lot of blood everywhere in her apartment, but no body.  In the second, called Animal Farm, some of the animals of Fabletown (Three Little Pigs, Brer Rabbit, Shere Khan from The Jungle Book, etc.) are staging a revolution because they want to be able to leave the secluded farm where they live and travel the world.  After all, some of them have been stuck there for thousands of years, and unlike the human Fables, they can’t travel easily.

I’m weirdly hooked on these now.  They’re not life-changing or deep (yet) or anything.  They’re just fun!   I’ve ordered the third volume, Storybook Love, from my main library.  I used to think that I wasn’t a graphic novel person.  Well, I’m here to tell you that THINGS CHANGE.  People change!  It’s pretty exciting to me that now I’m a fan of graphic novels, and podcasts, and a freaking BOOK BLOGGER, and two years ago I was none of those things.  We are all adaptable, is what I guess I’m getting at, and even if you’re pushing forty (ahem) or fifty or ninety, it’s not too late to try something new.  We’re not the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, as a poem by Lucille Clifton reminds me:


i am running into a new year

(By Lucille Clifton)

i am running into a new year

and the old years blow back
like a wind
that i catch in my hair
like strong fingers like
all my old promises and
it will be hard to let go
of what i said to myself
about myself
when i was sixteen and
twenty-six and thirty-six
even thirty-six but
i am running into a new year
and i beg what i love and
i leave to forgive me





18 thoughts on “(Not Really a Review of) Fables, Volumes 1 and 2, by Bill Willingham

  1. Are you usually able to read four books at once and enjoy them all when not you’re not in a slump?
    I only ask because for me, splitting my focus that much would probably put me in a reading slump!

    Anyway, I hope you feel better today than when you wrote the post.
    Fables does look really interesting, btw. I’m trying to get into more comic books and graphic novels to diversify my reading even further, so I started Bitch Planet and Faith and am looking for more recommendations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Naz, I can read 3-4 books at a time usually, especially if they’re all very different from one another. (Say, one is poetry, one is nonfiction, one is audiobook, one is novel, etc.) I think I’m pulling back on two of them at the moment and putting my focus on Middlemarch (for the readalong) and the poetry (for my soul!)
      Fables is fun! Not deep by any means. And I’m not sure how much diversity is reflected – I mean, these are fairy tale/folklore characters of the Grimm Brothers/nursery rhyme ilk, so. I need to check out Bitch Planet and Faith! Good recommendations – thanks!


      1. I meant diversifying my reading by adding variety to the types of books I read, since I mostly read ficiton novels.

        Btw, I do read plenty of books that aren’t written by people of color, I just don’t blog about them. Mostly, I’m looking for fun stories to explore in the graphic novel genre because I’m not very familiar with that format so I want something simple and fun. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hope things are better with you now!! 🙂
    Yes omg you have to read Lumberjanes and Saga and Princeless and Faith! I have Nimona on my tbr for readathon, so excited. Fables has such a great cover, I need to see if I have access to it.
    It really is exciting to see how one changes. And the cool thing about blogging is that you document these changes! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry your week was so hard I hope this week is going better! I have not heard of fables but they sound like fun. And is it just me or does the guy in the train window, Bigby maybe?, look kind of like Michael Jackson in his Thriller days?

    Liked by 1 person

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