Fables – Bill Willingham et al

I can’t believe I managed to take a two year break from catching up on Fables.    And yes, I still have plenty more to catch up on, because there’s been more added since I last picked them up.

I really have to remember that they’re great filler books for when I want to hold off on starting something new for some reason (like the pending coming of Spring and the Once Upon a Time Reading Challenge.)

In these books, the Fables have to mobilize against Mister Dark, and Rose Red finally gets over her mopey self (ok, she has reasons) and steps back up to leading things again.     I was also a bit surprised to see they gave up on the Farm, though I’m assuming that’ll only be short term.

I do really like Bellflower, aka Frau Tottenkinder’s way younger self – she’s pretty kick ass.    I think I really do just enjoy the different takes on all these characters.

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The Canterbury Tales by Geoffey Chaucer – Adapted by Seymore Chwast

Read for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

I’ll admit to enjoying this graphic novel adaptation purely for the front cover, and back and front inside covers, which portray the pilgrims in the Canterbury Tales as a crowd on motorcycles. If that kind of thing offends your sense, don’t pick up this adaptation.

This graphic novel manages to capture all of the Canterbury Tales in abbreviated form, with drawing and modern language. The only truly modern device is the motorcycles (which I’ll admit, I don’t see much reason for, even if they are fun) – everything else is straight out of the original. Well, minus the Middle English, and much summarized.

For that reason, this would make a good intro to the tales. It’s certainly not to the depth of the original stories, but captures a flavor of them, and the language is certainly more accessible. There’s a great undercurrent of humor as well. Really, this would be a great teaching tool with teenagers. I’m pretty sure I would have been motivated to dive a little deeper into the full length tales, had I read this when I was that age.

Fables 14: Witches – Bill Willingham, et al

We’re still pretty clearly in story building territory in this volume, and it’s all about a bit of a power play among the Fabletown sorcerers. Frau Tottenkinder leaves for the Fable Realms on a mission she’ll tell no one about, and the deceptively child-like sorceress Ozma seizes the opportunity to assert her leadership.

My favorite part of the story is the interludes, where the flying monkey Bufkin is leading the assorted denizens trapped in the business office against the rather frightening Baba Yaga. He may be only a monkey, but he’s a great leader, and his adventures make this book.

Fables 13: The Great Fables Crossover – Bill Willingham, et al

I haven’t read Jack of Fables yet, mostly because I find Jack to be a pretty obnoxious character. But, having him back in the realm of the main storyline again, I can see that his side story seems to have some interesting other characters, so I’m a little more inclined to read it now.

This particular book is pretty much a side story from the main Fables action line. I’m hoping it’s back to the set up for the next big bad guy now that this plot is out of the way.

Fables 12: The Dark Ages – Bill Willingham, et al

The rebel s in Fabletown have brought down the Adversary, and would like to think that peace will now reign in all the Fable worlds. But, this being a world of fairytales, we all know that there’s still evil lurking around the corner, and this evil is far worse than anything they’ve ever encountered before.

This book is a middle story – the ground work before the next great story to come, and from the look of it, the next battle will be an interesting one.

Serenity – The Shepherd’s Tale – Zack Whedon

Anyone who watched the show Firefly, the rather tragically cut short space western created by Joss Whedon, is familiar with the character of Shepherd Book. Book very clearly had a back story that involved somehow being deeply involved with the Republic, which was naturally never explored when the show wasn’t allowed past a first season. This graphic novel is the answer to that mystery.

I won’t say anything about the plot, because any true fan is going to want to read this to see it, and anyone that’s not a fan won’t care, or won’t understand. But it’s a lovely little story, told in a series of backwards vignettes, all the way to Book’s childhood. You understand the man by the end of the book, and I’m glad that Joss put this story out for us to see.

Fables 11: War and Pieces – Bill Willingham, et al

The war for the Homelands has come in this collection, anchored by the narration of Boy Blue, who becomes the messenger for the rebels by virtue of his teleportation cloak.

There’s a small interlude where Cinderella, superspy, is sent on a mission to pick up a very important package in Argentina. It’s easily the most fun story in the book. I seem to remember seeing that Cindy gets her own book at some point, which I will definitely have to get my hands on. Who knew a princess could be so kickass?

I’ll admit the end of the war was a bit of a shocker. I can’t wait to see where they take that particular plot twist.