(I decided that I was going to review the graphic novels I read in January this week.)
Fables - Volume 19: Snow White by Bill Willingham & Company
Completed: January 1, 2014
Length: 168 Pages
With Castle Dark now back in the hands of the Fables, mysteries both young and old begin to challenge the residents of Fabletown. Bigsby and Stinky set off from Fabletown in Rose Red's blood-fueled sports car to track down the two abducted cubs. Unfortunately for Snow White, besides suffering the trauma of having two of her cubs go missing, a long forgotten secret uncovered in Castle Dark threatens to sabatoge her and Bigsby's marriage.
This volume also collects the backup adventures of Bufkin and Lily from issues #114-121, as well as their full length adventures found in issue #124.
Collected here are Fables issues #114-123 (back-up stories only) and issues #124-129.I didn't love Volume 18 of Fables as much as others in the series, so I was worried I wouldn't like this one, but all was well. I didn't like the adventures of Bufkin and Lily as much as the actual story where we got a chance to see more about Snow White who has been one of the central characters since the very beginning. Oh, how I love Fables and its strong female characters! I found the art a bit lacking in this one, though, and just didn't find the cover as eye-catching as other volumes. This one definitely leaves you wanted Volume 20 yesterday. I can't wait until later this year to see where Fables goes next.
Completed: January 2, 2014
Length: 128 Pages
When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the "mundys," their name for normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters created their own secret society that they call Fabletown. From their exclusive luxury apartment buildings on Manhattan's Upper West Side, these creatures of legend must fight for their survival in the new world.(Just FYI: I have seen the 10th Anniversary Edition and it just is not as pretty as the 'original' one. It doesn't even seem like the binding is done as well. If you can, I would get the one pictured above and get the special one for collector purposes.)
This was a reread done almost exactly five years after I read this book for the very first time. I still loved it and am so happy I have been slowly rereading the series this year. This is where you meet everyone and see the beginnings of what would quickly become one of my favourite series ever! I think it made an interesting contrast reading the earliest one and the latest one so close to each other. The art is fantastic, the writing is stellar, and this is a great introduction to the series. And, these volumes stand up to rereads!
Completed: January 5, 2014
Length: 112 Pages
Collecting FABLES #6-10, the second story arc of the fan-favorite, critically acclaimed VERTIGO series. Travel to upstate New York, where the non-human Fable characters have found refuge on a farm, miles from mankind. But all is not well on the farm — and a conspiracy to free them from the shackles of their perceived imprisonment may lead to a war that could wrest control of the Fables community away from Snow White. Starring Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Plus, a sketchbook section featuring art by Willingham, Buckingham and Jean.This is another reread of a favourite series. This was the first volume that made me aware of just how wide Fables spreads and that it is not just about fairy tale-retelling. This was the first volume that impressed on me the fact that Willingham, and his team, write strong female characters. I think that is one of the reasons why I love Fables so much. The art is also fantastic! Again, I am so happy I reread this!
Completed: January 7, 2014
Length: 136 Pages
The first volume of the Eisner Award-winning series featuring Eisner Award-winners author Brian K. Vaughan and artist Tony Harris. Set in our modern-day world, EX MACHINA tells the story of civil engineer Mitchell Hundred, who becomes America's first living, breathing super-hero after a strange accident gives him amazing powers. Eventually Mitchell tires of risking his life merely to maintain the status quo, retires from masked crimefighting and runs for mayor of New York City, winning by a landslide. But Mayor Hundred has to worry about more than just budget problems and an antagonistic governor, especially when a mysterious hooded figure begins assassinating plow drivers during the worst snowstorm in the city's history!After Bill Willingham, I think Brian K. Vaughan is my favourite comic author (and, with the awesomeness of Saga that is a very, very close second). So, I am always eager to try different works by these authors. I didn't know very much about this series before it was thrust into my hands, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this intro to a new series. I don't read a lot of 'superhero' comics, but this was a different type of story-line: Mitchell Hundred is character you want to learn more about, and it takes place during a snowstorm which I can definitely relate to at this time of year. I always find the first volume of graphic novel series hard to talk about because they are really all about introducing things, but I am really interested to see what happens further in this series.
Completed: January 8, 2014
Pages: 176 Pages
The Escapists tells the tale of three aspiring comics creators with big dreams, small cash, and publishing rights to one forgotten Golden Age hero-The Escapist! Inspired by Michael Chabon's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, this is Vaughan's love letter to his chosen medium, a story about what it takes to start out with nothing in Cleveland, Ohio, and end up with a comic so hot a major corporation wants to steal it from you! Brilliantly interweaving the lives of the creators with the world of their creation, artists Steve Rolston and Philip Bond bring the comic-booking trio Maxwell Roth, Case Weaver, and Denny Jones to life, while the inimitable Jason Shawn Alexander and Eduardo Barreto illustrate the thrilling trials and exciting extrications of the new-and old-Escapist!First of all, I am not sure what this comic would be like if you have actually read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay because I never have and only sort of even know what it is about. I do see a trend now with Brian K. Vaughan being into superhero-type comics and I think this is my favourite so far. It is a comic book about comic books, actually, and talks about what it is to be just starting out and wind up with a comic so popular that you run the risk of losing it. The art was fun and the story is both the creators of the comic and the comic itself. I really liked Maxwell, Case, and Denny as characters and enjoyed seeing them go through their 'adventures'. I am really happy I read this and really wish I could find more!
That's it for now! I only read 2 graphic novels this week, so I will mention them next Saturday.