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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Alphabet of Cool – F

Today’s feature is one of the most consistently entertaining monthly books out there.




When Fables began, I will admit it…I didn’t expect much from it, and I wasn’t a big fan of the first arc, but once Mark Buckingham joined writer Bill Willingham as the artist of the title, the book has been a really enjoyable read.


Perhaps the most impressive feat has been Willingham’s ability to make the book truly an ensamble. Snow White and Bigby Wolf are still important character in the book, but they once were the clear-cut leads of the book, and Willingham eased them out of that role without missing a beat.

Just recently, Willingham had one of the best arcs of the whole book, and it starred a character who was a total background character for years.

The title is now beginning a story they have been leading up to for the past couple of years, and it will be interesting to see how the book can handle this story, which threatens to encompass the whole title, thereby perhaps taking away from the whole character-driven style of the title, but as Willingham has managed to write the book so well for so long, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.


If you haven’t given the book a try, I recommend the second TPB first.


I actually have been rereading the first tpb this week and it’s amazing how much more it got fleshed out as it went along.

It’s also amazing how hard it’s got to be for someone to pick it up now and be able to read it. Maybe that’s why I like it so much. There’s so much going on.

You know what it really reminds me of, actually?

Claremont’s Uncanny.

A massive cast. Subplots up the wahoo. Sometimes they even get paid off.

Dan (other Dan)

March 29, 2008 at 9:22 pm

I started reading the trades through my local library, and it was really underwhelming at first. Boy, it picked up around the third trade, and now I’m excited about the rest of the series. Oddly, if I had been on board at the beginning, I probably wouldn’t be reading it now.

My complaints about this series have been noticed quite a bit on CBR, but I gotta say, after reading the first three tpbs, I was pretty much unimpressed and really confused about all of the hype this series has.

Brian FYI, this post claims to be posted under “Comic Book Cheers and Jeers” instead of “Comic Book Alphabet.”

I did start readng Fables with the second TPB actually. I enjoyed that one quite a bit and subsequently bought the first TPB as a present for a few friends, but I just completely lost interest around the fifth TPB and never had the desire to resume reading the series afterwards.

I wouldn’t say it’s a bad series by any stretch of the imagination, but I can’t say I find it particularly captivating either. To me, it kind of feels like the epitome of the stereotypical post-Gaiman “Vertigo” series in most regards.

I bought the floppies that corresponded to the first two trades of this series – mainly because the idea of it seemed so great. And I thought the first two story arcs were average at best, so I dropped it. I keep hearing such great things that I might need to give it another shot.

This is the one series that keeps me buying comics.
Its a great series that you just have to get into, the series is brilliant, and the TPBs are worth getting. Willigham is Gaiman-like. ;-)

Wow. I had no idea there was so much apathy and/or dislike towards the series out there. I’m not insulting those who don’t like the book. I just genuinely didn’t know.

I think Fables, my all-time favorite Vertigo series, has been brilliant, from the beginning until right now. By all means, it should be awful. Like someone mentioned, it’s a stereotypical Vertigo premise. But instead of relying on the gimmick, Willingham has developed the characters into unique personalities and, more importantly, given them things to do beyond being “Fairytale characters in the modern world”.

More than any comic book I’ve ever read, the status quo is always changing. I don’t think a single character is in the same position now they were at the start, and it doesn’t feel at all forced. It’s a fascinating world to visit each month.

Also, I love that Willingham using the freedom of Vertigo to be shocking or graphic or obscene when he needs to, but doesn’t rely on that. Months at a time go by when the book would be appropriate to give to an eight-year-old. It makes it seem more real, somehow. People aren’t filthy and “adult” all the time. No one is.

Is there really a significant upswing in quality around the third trade? I read the first two books (looking for a replacement for Y really) and to be honest I’m firmly in the underwhelmed camp. The only characters I came away with any kind of fondness for were Bigby Wolf and Reynard.

Is it a slow burner or was the hype there from the outset?

I came in around “Wolves” and thought it was a pretty clever concept. What I loved about “The Good Prince” is not just who the prince turned out to be, but how many background items from previous stories (like the hanging knight’s armor) turned out to be important.

I had a feeling/hope that this would be the “F-” of this little series.

I joined this series during the 7th trade (Arabian Nights and Days) and just thought it was such an amazing concept. Bought the first 6 trades and then started reading it monthly.

As for the first two trades: The first arc is good, and a necessity because it sets up the series. The second arc is better, but doesn’t really focus on the quaint little community they’ve set up in New York so it doesn’t give you an accurate look at what makes the series so enjoyable. I think this series is best received by picking up the first three trades all at once. That should be enough to get you hooked and invested enough in it to care about the intense stuff that goes on in the 4th trade, the heartbreak of the 5th trade, and then the total awesomeness that is the 6th trade, etc. etc.

Can’t wait to see the direction this series takes after 75, which promises to change the course of the course of the story.


March 30, 2008 at 9:04 pm

Every single issue Of Fables is wonderful!

I believe the artwork is often overlooked. Buckingham has been perfect, and the fill-in artists have never dropped the ball. Unlimited potential for the future of this series. Pure comic book fun(12 months per year)!!
James Jean covers are always a treat.
Willingham balances so many characters so smoothly. It’s like Astro City without the tights.

The whole crew that puts this series together should be proud of Fables.

To me, it kind of feels like the epitome of the stereotypical post-Gaiman “Vertigo” series in most regards.

Nah – that’s Testament.

Personally I love Fables – and Mark Buckingham is indeed excellent on it.

I absolutely adore FABLES – I came in late, but started it from the beginning, and once I started, I was thoroughly hooked.

I love this series. I’ll take it any day over the stuff Ellis, Ennis, Millar, and Bendis are coming out with.

Aniceto Pereira

July 16, 2008 at 12:46 pm

I recently bought all the trades last year in December. I was reading Fables intermittently but never really felt I had to buy it until I began reading the Good Prince Story arc and I waited until the arc finished so I could pick up the Good Prince RPB as well. I’ve read all the arcs so far and this book along with Y-the Last Man and Lucifer are a must read.. I think you begin to appreciate them after a while when the story has really unfolded…

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