Thursday, December 18, 2008

Favorite Things: Day Eighteen

OK, I had originally planned on posting this yesterday, but after a 3 hour commute, I was just too wiped to go ahead with some writing. Anyway, let's pretend that this one is a follow-up to Monday's Middleman post, as we're sticking with the theme of comics being turned into TV shows. So, Fables, which has recently been picked up by ABC for development into a series, has long been a favorite of mine.

Imagine if all of the story-book tales we were told as children were real, and they lived elsewhere, on their own worlds. well, they do, and some time ago, a great Adversary began taking over these lands and subjugating the Fables under his power . A good deal of these Fables fled to the last free world, the mundane world, our own. And that's where the story begins, in present-day New York City, where Snow White's in charge and Bigby Wolf (a.k.a. the Big Bad) keeps the peace.

For the first few collections (which is how I've been reading the series), it's rather episodic, the first, a murder-mystery, the second the tale of a revolution at the up-state farm where the non-human Fables are exiled. That is not to say that they are not excellent, but they grow the cast and the concept of the book so well, that, when around issue 50, the grand arch of the entire book kicks in, you're hopelessly involved. This really comes down to the characters, writer Bill Willingham manages to take the archetypes of so many characters we've known, or thought we've known, so well over our lifetimes and invests them with human foibles that they jump off the page. He is ably assisted on art by Mark Buckingham (and a talented stable of guest artists) and no discussion of the book can be had without mentioning the amazing covers by James Jean. Hell, it's taken me almost an hour of going through them on (gallery here) to pick out a good one for this post, and while I went with the most seasonal of the bunch, I had to include another one below.

Recently, the book passed what was to be the planned ending of the book, the final battle between the Adversary and the Fables, but it has continued and I'm glad for it. Though I'm only collecting the book in trades, it's nice to have a big, thick block of the book to read every few months.

Anyway, as I had stated above, ABC has picked up Fables to make into a pilot for next season, and, while I have very little faith that it'll go to series, much less be any good, I am still hopeful The Chicago Tribune's Maureen Ryan wrote a very good article recently laying out the reasons why it could be a very able successor to Lost.

As with everything I've been talking about this month, I can't recommend this book enough. Oh yeah, here's the other cover I couldn't resist, still seasonal, though.


Bill said...

I'm convinced. I now will be buying this. Day 18 without yet a pause. Gasp...are you really gonna make it to the 25th? Good job.

Jason said...

Well, I've now blown through the cushion I've built up for myself, so every night I'll have to grind one out everynight. Don't be surprised Monday's is "I like beer".