Fables: Animal Farm

Author: Bill Willingham/Illustrators: Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Daniel Vozzo, & James Jean/Letterer: Todd Klein

Fables, vol. 2

Rose Red and her boyfriend Jack have been caught trying to evade repaying a large debt by faking Rose’s death. As part of her punishment, Rose gets dragged along by her sister (and Chief Operating Officer of Fabletown) ,Snow White, to the farm in upstate New York where the less human-like fables live in relative isolation. It’s supposed to be a routine inspection, but from the moment the sisters arrive, things seem to go awry. As a matter of fact, it seems they’ve stumbled right into the middle of an insurrection, no less!

As far as comic-book-style graphic novels go, I think Fables is one of my favorites so far. The idea of pulling classic fairy tale characters into contemporary New York is intriguing, and Willingham’s execution is flawless. Animal Farm continues the story following Legends in Exile nicely–although the story itself isn’t at all what I would have expected. Seriously, if you were to take George Orwell’s Animal Farm and dump a bunch of fairy tale characters in it, you’d have a pretty good idea of what’s going on in this graphic novel. It’s weird, but it works surprisingly well. The story shows sides of Snow White’s character that you wouldn’t normally see, and I think in that regard, it serves to flesh out her character (even though she was already a vivid and complex individual before). This episode of the story was more violent and political than I personally prefer, but it was still quite excellently written–full of complex characters and drawn in quite an attractive style (for a graphic novel). For mature readers who enjoy graphic novels, I think Fables: Animal Farm is both an exciting and a mentally-engaging tale–particularly for the more politically minded.

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