Fables

I used to read a lot of comics when I was a kid. Back when they were relatively cheap. Now, they’re pretty darn expensive. So I wind up reading some of them once they’ve been turned into graphic novels. Which I usually wind up getting from the library.

Trust me, I wish I had gobs of money to spend on books and stuff, but I don’t. Especially now. Not to say I don’t have lots of books here at home, but most books I tend to get from the library.

Anyway, I digress. I’m currently reading a series of graphic novels called Fables, published by Vertigo comics and created by Bill Willingham. The overall premise of the comic series is that characters from fairy tales and folk tales have been driven from their homelands by a creature known as the Adversary.

As a result, characters like Snow White, the Big Bad Wolf, Prince Charming, Jack of all Tales, Little Boy Blue and others now live in 21st century New York. They have their own community and they struggle to keep themselves hidden as much from the mundy world.

The Big Bad Wolf, for example, is the chain-smoking sheriff of what is knows as Fabletown. He’s in human form, looking a lot like a cross between Wolverine and Colombo. Snow White helps run Fabletown, along with Old King Cole. Prince Charming, having married and divorced, in succession, Snow White, Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty) and Cinderella is a womanizing Lothario, whom Snow White divorced when she caught him sleeping with her sister, Rose Red.

Those Fables who are not able to pass as humans, such as the Three Bears, The Three Pigs, etc, live up on a farm in upstate New York, where they are hidden from the mundys through a series of enchantments.

I’m really loving this series. For one thing, it’s cleverly written. The dialogue is crisp and clean and all the storylines move at a quick and enjoyable pace.

I just heard, however, that ABC has requested a pilot based on the comics. My first reaction was, gee, I don’t know. I really don’t have a good feeling that they can make this comic series work as a live-action TV series.

It would be interesting to see these characters come to life, but I sometimes wonder if what works in a comic can actually be transferred to live action and actors. (One of the big problems, among others, that I had with the movie version of Watchmen).

Well, for now I’m going to keep reading the graphic novels. I’ve come to care a lot about Snow White, Prince Charming, Bigby Wolf and the others.

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10 Responses to Fables

  1. Digital Dame says:

    I’d have a bad feeling about this too, if they were actually to go ahead with a tv series. It would be real easy for them to turn it into comedic slapstick, rather than give it a serious, sympathetic dramatic treatment. There’s a lot of wisdom in the those old fairytales (the real ones, not the scrubbed up Disney versions).

  2. jennareynolds says:

    That’s what I’m afraid of. Comedic slapstick. And it would be hard not to do fall into that trap with this series. The comics actually have a pathos that I don’t think would transfer at all to the television screen. So, more than like, if ABC does go ahead with a pilot and it airs, I’ll take a looksee at it, but I have no high expectations for it.

    And anyway, I’ll always have the graphic novels to read. (When I finally win the lottery and can buy all the books, DVDs, graphic novels, and assorted other things that my greedy little heart desires) πŸ™‚

  3. liskid says:

    Sounds like a fun read, reminds me Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlement, except based upon Fairy Tales.

  4. jennareynolds says:

    Hi Liskid!

    Yes, that’s exactly how I’d describe it. πŸ™‚ If you like LEG (which I did) I think you’ll like this series also.

  5. Amy says:

    That seems very similar to Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series.

    Discworld isn’t a graphic novel, just a novel, but they are as funny as I’ll get out.

  6. jennareynolds says:

    I’ve heard of the Discworld books. I haven’t yet read any of them but I’ve heard they’re very funny.

  7. Digital Dame says:

    I can attest to the Discworld humor. I’m reading “Witches Abroad” right now, and almost can’t get through it from laughing so hard. Sheer brilliance. I’m not sure how many Discworld books there are in the series, I think it’s at least twelve! If you need a good laugh, which I did when I picked it up, you can’t go wrong with Terry Pratchett.

  8. jennareynolds says:

    I’ll have to put those books on my TBR list for sure.

  9. Regarding Pratchett-“Witches Abroad” remains my favorite. It’s frellin awesome.

    I read a couple of Fables some years ago. A co-worker at the bookstore that I worked in was a fan. Good stuff.

    League of Extraordinary Gentleman was amazing. I nearly cried at how horrible the film adaption was.

    Another great comic book series which recently ended was Terry Moore’s, “Strangers in Paradise”- a mix of romance, comedy, drama, and deadly female spies.

    Graphic novels and comics definitely don’t get the full respect they deserve.

  10. jennareynolds says:

    I so agree about how graphic novels and comics are viewed by some. Oh, Hollyweird is definitely looking at them as source material but most of the time their adaptations leave much to be desired. LEG a prime example.

    I’ll have to see if I can find “Strangers in Paradise.” Thanks for the headsup!

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