Fables Vol. 2: Animal Farm.

I recently got my tax return back from the government (yay monies!) and like a responsible adult I put most of the money into savings. However, I did allow myself to splurge and bought the next four volumes of the Fables comic series.

I’m going to give an overview of what I think of each volume as I read them. I hesitate to call it “reviewing” the comics, because I have no prior knowledge on which to base a comic book review. Just think of it as me, sharing my newb comic-book-readin’ thoughts as I start getting into my first series.

From what I can tell, each volume seems to have a very distinct focus. I’m not sure if this is common in comic books, but it seems like it makes sense. IT’S ALMOST AS IF THEY PLANNED IT.

Anywho, Volume 1 followed the story of Red Rose’s mysterious disappearance (for those that missed it, catch up here).

Volume 2 is all about the animals, and not in a way PETA would be happy about.

The cover art for Fables Vol. 2: Animal Farm. Red Rose looks preeetty badass. Image courtesy of http://thesleeplessreader.com/2011/01/25/fables-volume-2345-by-bill-willingham/

The cover art for Fables Vol. 2: Animal Farm. Red Rose looks preeetty badass. Image courtesy of thesleeplessreader.com.

Snow White is again our leading lady, and we find her about to embark on her annual visit to “The Farm”. All the Fables who can’t live among the “mundies” (ie: mundanes, muggles, humans) agreed to reside on a large farm in upstate New York. Because White is Deputy Mayor of Fabletown, she makes these visits to make sure all is well up at the farm.

Since Rose Red has been causing so much trouble lately, White decides to force her sister to accompany her on this trip as part of her community service. Rose, being the hard-core rebel that she is, whines and complains the whole way there.

The car ends up breaking down just as the travelers get inside the boundaries of The Farm. As they figure out their car troubles, White finds something disturbing on the side of the road: shotgun shells. GASP. Why would anyone be using guns on Fable land, White ponders. SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT.

They finally arrive at the Farm, which basically looks like a bunch of fairy-tale settings, patched together. It definitely has that “cult-commune” feeling to it.

White ends up stumbling in on a suspicious meeting the farm-dwelling Fables are holding in the barn. She demands to know what’s going on. Why is are they holding an unsanctioned meeting, and where is the Farm’s leader?

The animals are able to placate White, and cover up their odd-behavior. For being a few hundred years old, and having seen the things she’s seen, you’d think Snow White would be a little harder to fool.

Basically Snow White ends up banging around with her eyes closed, whilst Red Rose secretly joins forces with the animal Fables who are planning an uprising! How exciting! The animals are sick of being trapped on the Farm, and want to return to the Homelands (their original fairy-tale lands).

But, as we come to find out, it’s not all fun and games. Things get a little … bacon-y when one of the Three Little Pigs doesn’t accomplish his mission for the revolution. And who knew Goldilocks would turn out to be such a good shot?

I had complicated feelings about this volume, because the Fables are pitted against each other (well, as complicated as feelings get about a comic). I didn’t really know who’s side I was on; weren’t they all the good guys in my childhood bed-time stories?

Also: I think Bill Willignham (writer) could have toned down the overt-references to the “literary symbol”. I couldn’t tell if he was trying to poke fun at it, or if he just thought comic-book readers just wouldn’t know a literary reference when they saw it. Either way, I was a little insulted as a reader. I don’t like when things are dumbed-down.

However, that really was the only thing I disliked about this volume. Overall, it was a fun read. It was interesting to meet new characters; see new settings; and uncover more mysteries of Fabletown! There were parts that were predictable and cheesy, but there were other parts that made me gasp (for real).

So far, I seem to like when Fables is focused on more serious moments and I just move along when it’s trying to be funny. One thing that is consistent: the art is very engaging. I love looking at the detailed drawings. If I keep enjoying the art, I’ll probably keep reading.

On a slightly different note: It’s hard to write my thoughts without giving a TON away — I would hate to take away the experience of reading it for the first time from you. So hopefully, I’ve found a happy medium. Leave me some comments on your thoughts if you’ve read it! We could have… like… an online comic book club! Like Oprah’s book club, except better. Cool. I’m glad we had this talk.

-Astro

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