Fables by Bill Wellingham

Remember the fairy tales we heard as kids? With fairy godmothers and magic castles and princesses and prince charmings and good triumphing over evil and happy endings? Yeah….BORING!

Fables, published by Vertigo Comics, takes all those old fairy tale characters that we love and make them human. Not literally all of them human (we still have the three little pigs and dragons and giants and stuff) but figuratively human. Wellingham gives them merits and faults, troubles and triumphs, dangers and celebrations.

Fables, as they are known, have been run out of their different Homelands, the magical lands that they inhabited by an enemy known only as the Adversary. Several hundred years ago,  they all came together in the state of New York, what is now New York City, to found a secret fable community on Bulfinch Street in Manhattan, called Fabletown. The mayor of this venerable community is none other than Old King Cole, who is a lovable mayor but, on the whole slightly inept. The real power behind Fabletown is Miss Snow White, the deputy Mayor and the Sherrif, Mr. Bigby Wolf (I’ll give you a candy if you can guess who he is). These two work to keep Fabletown running, as well as keeping them hidden from the “mundies” as they call humans. There is also the Farm in upstate New York, where all non-human Fables are sent to live as you can’t very well have talking animals running around in Manhattan, now can you?

The very first volume heralds the apparent murder of Snow White’s sister Rose Red (ever heard of her? I have.) right before the annual Remembrance Day, when all Fables in Fabletown gather to remember the Homelands they lost.  Who murdered Rose Red and why? And what does Jack (Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack Be Nimble, Jack of all Trades, ever though they could be the same person?) have to do with it?

Having just released its 12th volume, the beloved characters of Fables have literally been to hell and back.  Every volume is fresh, every story compelling, and you will  love (and hate) the characters more and more with each volume. If you ever loved fairy tales, pick up Fables and see what happens when fairy tales grow up.

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