Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Saying Good Bye to Fables...

Every year for Christmas I get a gift card to buy books. It is one of my very favourite traditions. For Christmas 2008, I decided to finally see if all the fuss about Fables applied to me. In 2009 I read and reviewed the first two books in the famous series. And, I was hooked. It took me a bit longer than most to come to the series, but by the end of 2009 I was all caught up and eagerly awaiting the new releases. It became my series. I don't necessarily love the spin-offs as much, but the main series clicked with me and opened up graphic novels to me as a whole. I used to think because they were so short that they were a waste of money. (My pocket book would likely wish for me to still think like that...)
Fables is a graphic novel series written by Bill Willingham and pulled off by a team of talented artists, editors, etc. It takes the fairy tales that we know and completely reinvents them. When the series first opened we meet a group of fairy tale creatures that are displaced to New York because there are wars in their own worlds. The infamous King Cole is the mayor, Snow White is the deputy mayor, and the wolf of many fairy tales is the sheriff, Bigby. Then there is Rose Red, Beauty, Beast, Goldilocks, Cinderella, Brier Rose, and the list goes on... Willingham and his team found a way to include many of the characters that we grew up with in creative ways. And, we leave them in a very different way than we first met them... There were wars, deaths, marriages, births, destruction, heartache, and so much more. The series always kept you on the end of your seat and kept reinventing itself. I didn't necessarily love every character, story-line, or issue; but as a whole I loved the series and looked forward to every new release.

In 2015, Fables came to an end. And, while I am very sad to see it end, I am glad that it went on a high note instead of losing its momentum and not ending as well as it started. When Volume 21 came out I bought it like normal, but then I couldn't bring myself to read it. And, then Volume 22 came out when I was dealing with a broken ankle so it took me a bit to get a copy. When Volume 22 arrived it still took me a few days to sit down and say good-bye.  I was so appreciative of how they ended, though. There was an overall story, but they also took time to bring back characters so they could have their final story. It worked in well and gave us a chance to visit with some old friends. There were a few endings that I would love to express my sadness over, but I won't spoil the series for those that haven't read it yet. I will say that some characters died that I wish hadn't.
I found that Fables pushed the envelope in many ways. For starters, I loved the kick-ass female characters. They were not the damsels in distress that needed the help of their Prince Charming, even though Prince Charming was a character, but were capable of accomplishing things for themselves. I mentioned that in the beginning Snow White was the deputy mayor and her character continued to grow during the series. Her sister, Rose Red, developed as well and became the leader of The Farm. Then, there was Cinderella who was an assassin and earned her own side comics. There was also Goldilocks, Brier Rose, Thumbelina, and the list goes on. They were not the women of old finding themselves in grave peril and needed a male to come to their rescue and marry them. They fought for themselves and were very successful. That is not to say that the men were not there to battle it out or marry them if that was the path taken, but it was more of an equal society than we are used to in the classic tales. And that is just one of the main reasons that I loved the series. There were many others!

And, now, I have had to say good bye to most of these characters. There are still some of the spin-offs being released, so it is not good bye entirely, but it is good bye to the huge cast of characters that I have read since 2009 and loved visiting with a couple times of year. I am sad, though. It was a highlight to my reading and was one of my favourite series ever. I am glad I took a chance on the series in 2009 and there is still time to give it a try for yourself if you were initially reluctant.


  1. Awww, I'm sure this is quite bittersweet. Like saying goodbye to a favorite TV show and it's characters after years of watching. While I've only read the first issue, I would like to continue with more in the future and am grateful for your post on all of the spin-offs and how to read them. Hope you're still able to revisit these in the future with just as much enjoyment!

  2. It is such a milestone to complete a series, isn't it. Even though the books are completely different (and my relationship to them different, too, because I do not worship them the way that I did as a girl), I recently finished the Anne of Green Gables series, with the final volume, about Anne's youngest daughter, and it's such a mix of feelings overall. And, yet, as Trish has said....you can still reread!

  3. I recently started this series and I'm looking forward to reading more. I'm glad I gave it a try.

  4. I was sooooo sad to say goodbye -- but I do have a few spin-offs to read. On the other hand, I agree with you, ending while still wanting more is a good thing.

  5. We're big fans of Fables at our house. We're at around issue 18 and dragging our feet to buy the next ones exactly because we know it'll end soon :,(

  6. I've heard great things about the series, but am one of those still holding out, not sure if it's for me. When it come to graphic novels I tend to prefer memoirs, and one of the only non-memoir series that I've gotten into is Emma by Kaoru Mori. I do like a well-done fairy tale retelling though. I will have to keep these in mind.


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