REVIEW: Fables: 'Animal Farm' by Bill Willingham

fables-animal-farm1Fables: Animal Farm (2003) written by Bill Willingham is the second volume in an ongoing series that follows a bunch of displaced fables who live in upstate New York. The series is being published by Vertigo.

This series is good – so far. Also, let’s not be too quick to judge this series by the cover art. This is a story for adults because it has plenty of political intrigue and suspense, cussing, violence, and sexual innuendo.

“Fables: Animal Farm” has a pretty firm plot. The fables who now call New York home, were forced out of their homeland by someone named The Adversary. So they abandoned their homes and fortunes and created a new secret community in New York which is led by King Cole and his deputy, Snow White. Fables who look human enough are allowed to live in the city or “Fabletown” as they refer to it while the non-human fables reside outside the city, on the animal farm.

The story opens with Snow White making her bi-annual trip to the farm. This trip is work for her but she decides to bring along her little sister, Rose Red, in the hopes that the two can mend fences and get along again. Rose Red is doing community service for her role in another event that happened in the first volume. I won’t go into that here. The women arrive at the farm and realize that the non-human fables are organizing a revolution to gain back what they lost from The Adversary.

Snow White is against it, of course, and she has a group of loyalists backing her up but the revolutionaries seem determined to go through Snow White and whoever else that stands in the way of them winning their land back. Winning their land back is one thing but the non-humans also feel slighted and imprisoned on the land and don’t like that some fables live in the city while they have to live on the farm. So they’ve armed themselves to the teeth, thwarted the administrator of the farm while spreading inflammatory rhetoric to increase their numbers.

The events in this story spans a year and it was completely unpredictable for me. I had no idea that the story would end the way that it did. Bigby Wolf, the law enforcer of fabletown makes some brief appearances only because he’s forbidden to enter the animal farm because of some charter agreement. When he learns of Snow White’s endangerment, he sends in reinforcements led by Little Boy Blue and his pet monkey plus Bluebeard and Prince Charming. As an aside, my favorite characters are Snow White and Bigby Wolf.

This series is great. A good sound plot, some adult humor that fit in nicely with a well fleshed out cast of characters. Snow White may run Fabletown with plenty of attitude to spare but often she has moments where she comes across as being quite dense especially in matters of life and death. Some of the humor comes at her expense, too. There are plenty of surprises, plenty of action with a nice summation at the end that I’ve come to expect in the denouement. This is a good series and recommended if you enjoy meaty stories that are quick reads. My grade, B. Now onward to the next entry.


About Keishon

Voracious reader of just about everything.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Grade B Reviews, Graphic Novels and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to REVIEW: Fables: 'Animal Farm' by Bill Willingham

  1. Sarai says:

    Okay this just sparked my interest. I will have to check it out. Thanks for the review!

  2. Kailana says:

    I really like this series! I hope you continue to enjoy it.

  3. senetra says:

    I just started reading the sixth volume, Homelands. It just gets better. I found myself trying to figure out what tales the characters are from.

  4. Avid Reader says:

    senetra: I just started reading the sixth volume, Homelands. It just gets better. I found myself trying to figure out what tales the characters are from.

    Some I can recognize but others, nah, not a clue. When I finished reading the second entry, I went looking in my stash for the third one and realized I didn’t buy it – yet.

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