Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Graphic Novels and Comics Not Just for Kids

In the past few months, I've found myself being led back to graphic novels and comics. It had been years since I read one, so I thought I would give a few new ones a try. Man, was I glad I did! Now, I'm not talking about the ones that they publish based around your favorite movie, book or tv show (though the Doctor Who ones are pretty good!). I mean the graphic novels that are unique IPs, and if there is a movie/tv/book tied to them, the comic or graphic novel came first. I thought it would be fun to share my recent favorite that I've been sucked into.


Based in New York, it's the kind of story or premise that you wish you had come up with, or at least that's how I feel. In the graphic novels, we follow characters based off storybook characters we know from our childhood. Classics like Little Red Riding Hood, Jack from Jack and the Bean Stock, Little Boy Blue, The Big Bad Wolf, Snow White, Cinderella, etc. There are also characters that I actually had to research as to who they are, but that makes it even more fun!

Here is the write up from Publisher's Weekly:

This elaborate fantasy series begins as a whodunit, but quickly unfurls into a much larger story about Fabletown, a place where fairy tale legends live alongside regular New Yorkers. Years ago, fables and fairy tales like Jack and the Beanstalk and Cinderella "were a thousand separate kingdoms spread over a hundred magic worlds," until they were invaded and driven into hiding and, eventually, into modern-day Gotham. And so, on the city streets we find Beauty and the Beast in trouble with the law and Prince Charming reduced to a broke cad auctioning off his royal title, while his ex-wife, Snow White, rules over the de facto kingdom the fables created. When Snow White's sister, Rose Red, disappears from a blood-soaked apartment, the Wolf, reformed and now the kingdom's house detective, is assigned to the case. Willingham uses the Wolf's investigation to introduce readers to Fabletown's dissolute, hard-luck inhabitants, and he is at his best here, relishing one-liners and spinning funky background information of a world where fairy tale characters spend their time fretting about money and thinking up get-rich schemes. The mystery seems mostly an excuse to delineate Willingham's world, as the caper is easily resolved-in true fairy tale fashion-during a massive ballroom celebration. Willingham's dialogue is humorous, his characterizations are sharp and his plot encompasses a tremendous amount of information with no strain at all. The art, mostly by Medina and Leialoha, is well drawn and serviceable, if somewhat unremarkable, with occasional flares of decorative invention. But it's Willingham's script that carries the tale.

I can't say enough good things about this graphic novel series. They are still producing them in serials, but you have a ton to catch up on in graphic novel format, so you don't have to worry about buying them monthly. If you are interested in checking it out, be sure to read them in order, as the series builds off the previous. I do have to mention, some of the stories are a little graphic and I believe they are mature rated. Just putting that out there. There are also a few different spin offs, so when you're done with Fables, and waiting for the next one, you can still live in the world. Both my husband and I love it!