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Bill Willingham – Jack of Fables, Vol 4: Americana

May 14, 2009

56. Jack of Fables, Volume 4: Americana by Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges, Russ Braun, Tony Akins, Andrew Pepo, Steve Leialoha, Daniel Vozzo, Todd Klein, Brian Bolland, Zachary Baldus (2008)
Jack of Fables, Volume 4

Read my reviews of:
the main Fables volumes
– Jack of Fables, Vol. 1: The (Nearly) Great Escape
– Jack of Fables, Vol. 2: Jack of Hearts
– Jack of Fables, Vol. 3: The Bad Prince

Length: 128 pages

Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy

Started: 11 May 2009
Finished: 11 May 2009

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? “Hi, I’m Fyrefly, and I’m a Fables junkie.”

Jack sets off for the
American Frontier, but
all is not roses…

Summary: Jack of the Tales, his sidekick Gary (erstwhile known as the Pathetic Fallacy), and a newly-reassembled Humpty Dumpty head off to Americana, the homeland of the American Fables, in search of a lost treasure. On their way, they run into Hillary Page, who has broken Paul Bunyan out of Golden Boughs for her own purposes. All is not well in Americana, however – the Bookburner has taken over, and his hordes of zombie policeman are intent on capturing the visiting Fables… and Literals. Also included is a one-off issue starring Wicked John that focuses on Golden Boughs’ one attempt to put on a stage show – Hamlet – before everything went disastrously wrong.

Review: Americana is another fun addition to the Jack of Fables library. I’ve pretty much accepted that clues about what’s really going on, and bits of the overarching plot are going to be doled out to the readers much more slowly than in the main Fables series, but we do get some more hints about who the Literals are and what they want as things move forward. My main problem with this volume was that it felt like a lot of wasted potential. Jack and company’s adventures in each region of Americana (Antebellum, Gangland, The Big City, the Frontier, Idyll, etc.) passes by in two or three pages, when there is enough material that each of them could easily have filled an entire issue. Also missing was any mention of what’s going on in the main Fables volumes at this point in the storyline – not even a word about why the Adversary hasn’t invaded Americana (presuming that’s true). Still, I enjoyed seeing a previously underrepresented branch of characters turn up in the Fables universe, and Jack’s narration is as funny as ever – although once again, the delusional Babe the Blue Ox stole the show. (“The abyss, as it turns out, just HATES having its pupils dilated.”) 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Hopefully this is just an introduction, and not the last we’ll see of these characters and introductions – but I’m going to keep reading to find out, of course.

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

Other Reviews: Biblio File, Reading the Leaves
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 14, 2009 7:10 am

    Your reviews made me want to finish Fables. I went to the big bookstore last night to buy the last two that I have to read… I detoured at the Price Club, though, and ended up buying way too many ‘necessities’ to justify going to the bookstore. Next time, though!

    Well, I say necessities, but I bought the new Tolkien book. That’s probably only a necessity to very nerdish me. lol

  2. May 14, 2009 4:35 pm

    Kailana – Nah, new books are definitely a necessity!

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