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Bill Willingham – Jack of Fables, Vol. 1: The (Nearly) Great Escape

May 4, 2009

49. Jack of Fables Vol. 1: The (Nearly) Great Escape by Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges, Tony Akins, Andrew Pepoy, Daniel Vozzo, Todd Klein, James Jean (2007)
Jack of Fables, Volume 1

Read my reviews of the main Fables volumes here.

Length: 128 pages

Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy

Started: 24 April 2009
Finished: 25 April 2009

Jack wants to leave the
Fable world behind, but no
prison can hold Jack!

Summary: The self-proclaimed best of all Fables, Jack of the Tales (also known as Jack the Giant Killer, Jack Horner, etc.), is back with his own series. After briefly summarizing Jack’s Hollywood adventures (from Volume 6 of the main Fables series), this story picks up with everyone’s favorite ruffian turned out of his life as a media mogul and hitchhiking with a briefcase full of cash. However, Jack gets picked up by some folks from the Golden Boughs retirement center, where Fables are taken until they’re forgotten about. Jack’s not going to stand for imprisonment, though, so he orchestrates an escape plan… taking some new friends and familiar faces with him.

Review: I was a little bit leery about starting the Jack of Fables series – although I love the Fables universe, Jack was just about my least favorite character, and I didn’t miss him at all once he was gone from the main series. However, I’ve read through all of the main series books that are out, and needed another dose, so I picked it up… and I needn’t have worried; Willingham works his magic just as effectively here as in the main books. Jack’s actually easier to take when he’s narrating his own story, and his macho swagger and bravado goes from obnoxious to funnily obnoxious to almost endearingly obnoxious. I also enjoyed the introduction of the “nearly-forgotten” Fables, and seeing how many folklore details you can pick out of the background is one of the joys of any Fables installment. This hasn’t gone rocketing to the top of my list of favorite Fables volumes, but it was a fun little adventure that satisfied my craving, and made me excited to read the rest of Jack’s books. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: I don’t know that this would be understandable without having read the main series books first; a lot of the history and details about what Fables are and how their world works is taken for granted. For Fables fans, though, it’s certainly a worthy addition to the universe.

Note: Can I just say how much I love this cover? Jack’s t-shirt that says “Ensemble books are for losers”, and the angry mob with the “How Dare You Get Your Own Series” picket signs. Hee!

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: Rhinoa’s Ramblings, Mervi’s Book Reviews, Biblio File
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: Life is a giant, coagulated bowl of suck.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 7, 2009 2:26 am

    I really like the cover, too! I am looking forward to when I am ready to start this series… I haven’t heard as much about it as I have Fables.

  2. May 8, 2009 3:08 pm

    I had the same worry about this spin-off – Jack was so amazingly annoying in the main Fables. But now I really want to read this series lol I guess it’s good motivation for me to finally finish Fables :P

    And yeah, the cover is awesome!

  3. May 8, 2009 11:20 pm

    Kailana – The detail in the angry mob is really great – very funny!

    Joanne – They’re not as good as the main storyline, I think, but they’re certainly acceptably enjoyable stopgap substitutes. :)

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