Upon re-reading “Fables”

So, over Memorial Day Weekend, instead of getting together with people (well, there was some of that) or cooking a bunch of food (though there was some of that, too), I organized my comics.

I am embarassed how many I have–I have, somewhat unfortunately, gotten back into the habit of reading them, and damn if they don’t pile up. But for the last couple of years, I have not been in the habit of keeping them organized. Things got shoved in boxes or stacked up on boxes or generally just hidden and neglected. Finding things was a non-starter unless I was feeling absurdly energetic.

So I got them all organized this weekend (which is also the first step in trying to divest myself of a lot of them).

Having, for the first time in a long time, the ability to go back and re-read things in a continuous stream that I had previously only read in short temporally discontinuous bursts, I’ve been re-reading some stuff. Since I go to the trouble to pay $20/month for the virtual server to host this blog, it seems like I should use it, so I may review some things here.

Fables, by Bill Willingham1, was the first thing I read through. It’s taken me a couple of days to get through the 80+ issues.

The good news is that I liked it–sometimes it’s easy to lose that basic perspective when you’re taking something in a couple dozen pages at a time separated by weeks.

In terms of storytelling, it doesn’t really hit its stride until the second story arc, where it becomes obvious that it’s not going to just be a lighthearted romp. And it doesn’t find its emotional core until Storybook Love. But Willingham, with consistent artist Mark Buckingham, have come to work as a great team.

And I have to give props to Willingham–there are elements that he planted within the first dozen issues that are just now coming to fruition; characters I was utterly unaware of have suddenly become monumentally important–though, I have to admit, I feel like the current storyline (“The Great Fables Crossover”–and yes I think they are being ironic with that title) is a bit of a diversion from what seemed to be developing. I’m confident that in the end, it will all at least appear intentional.

Anyway, I would recommend this to pretty much anyone. There are people in tights, but they’re medieval, not superhero, tights.

1 I should mention that I remember Bill Willingham from back when he used to do illustrations for TSR–in fact, I think I have a couple of comics from the early 80s that have ads he illustrated on the back covers.