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Graphic Novel Twofer: Bill Willingham – Fables, Vol. 15: Rose Red / Jack of Fables Vol. 8: The Fulminate Blade

June 7, 2011

70. Fables, Vol. 15: Rose Red by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Inaki Miranda, Andrew Pepoy, Dan Green (2011)
Fables, Volume 15

Genre: Fantasy
Where did they come from? The library.
Why do I have it? Still a Fables junkie.

Length: 256 pages
Started: 24 May 2011
Finished: 25 May 2011

Summary: Rose Red has been depressed since Boy Blue died, and has all but abdicated her leadership of the Farm, instead staying in bed. But a surprise visitor – and a look back at her history with her sister Snow White – may be the only thing that can turn her around. Meanwhile, Frau Totenkinder prepares to defeat the terrifying Mister Dark the only way she knows how – in single combat.

Review: This installment of Fables had a lot of really great elements, and it also did a nice job of making the various post-defeat-of-the-Emperor storylines feel more like a cohesive whole. I loved the retelling of Rose and Snow’s childhood (and teenaged) fairy tales – Willingham’s got a way of taking the classic familiar story and making it just dark and twisted enough that you know it’s not a kids’ story any more. (Although I think Snow White and Rose Red is one of the darker fairy tales out there in a lot of ways… or maybe I’m just biased from having read Tender Morsels.) I also love Frau Totenkinder, and watching her kick ass is always a welcome treat. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: This volume ends with enough of a bang that I’m really curious to see where the story’s going next; wherever it is, I’m still hooked!

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

Other Reviews: The BookBanter Blog, The Written World
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: “Fulfill your sworn duty.”

73. Jack of Fables, Vol. 8: The Fulminate Blade by Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges, Tony Akins, Jim Fern, Andrew Pepoy, Joe Rubinstein (2011)
Jack of Fables, Volume 8

Length: 128 pages
Started / Finished: 30 May 2011

Summary: Jack Frost, the son of Jack Horner (i.e. the original Jack of the Tales), is eager to prove himself a hero, and has even got himself a magical sword as a first step. First stop: the kingdom of Landfall, where a giant demands a yearly tithe of gold… and virgins.

Review: Decidedly meh. A lot of the fun of the Fables and Jack of Fables series is watching the characters from different familiar stories interact. By this point, however, it’s an entire book about Jack Frost as he goes on his adventure, which doesn’t star any other familiar faces, and it’s a fairly predictable fairy tale adventure to boot… except it’s a fairy tale with the inexplicable addition of robot soldiers and space stations, for no good reason. And even Babe’s pages, which are usually the funniest part, just felt tired. I think the Fables Crossover marked the place where Jack of Fables ran out of ideas, and started floundering. 3 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: It would actually work just fine – if not better – as a stand-alone story, but in the context of the larger whole, it was disappointing.

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

Other Reviews: The Written World
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: I appreciate the honesty of monsters.

Vocab: (see the whole list)

  • Fulminate – We’re going to go with the archaic definition – to thunder and lighten – given that the sword was drawn like a crackling bolt of lightning.
    .

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 7, 2011 1:25 pm

    Or fulminate as in fulminate of mercury, an old-fashioned detonator?

    • June 7, 2011 9:11 pm

      Ela – Entirely possible! The sword really did look like lightning, though. :)

  2. June 8, 2011 11:15 pm

    Awesome, I just finished Rose Red this afternoon! Really enjoyed the backstory. We’d had a lot of snatches of that in earlier volumes, but it was fun to get a more complete picture, and I love the way they combined the two Snow White stories.

    • June 9, 2011 9:30 am

      Cheryl – The fact that there were two Snow White stories always really confused me as a kid, since I was familiar with the Disney Snow White but never really came across Snow White and Rose Red. I’d hear the title, though, and think that it was all one story that I’d been missing part of, because none of the versions I’d ever heard (of Snow White) ever mentioned a sister.

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