If you like fairy tale retellings, then Fables by Bill Willingham and various illustrators may just be the comic series for you. It’s an oldie, but a goodie. First published in 2002, the series ended in 2013. I started reading it after playing the prequel video game A Wolf Among Us from Telltale Games. It had been on my radar for years, but I finally got around to starting it once the game had me invested in the world. Set in modern-day New York City, the comics follow a band of fairy tale characters living in Fabletown, an area they set up in NYC after fleeing their Homelands, which were conquered by a mysterious entity known as the Adversary. In Fabletown, they set up their own government and laws in order to hide the truth of their existence from the Mundies (think Muggles, us lowly humans). Any animal or non-human Fables that cannot afford glamour to appear human inhabit a separate space known as the Farm. Main characters in the series include Snow White, Bigby Wolf (the Big Bad Wolf in mostly human form), King Cole, Prince Charming, Beauty, Beast, etc. and each has their own very human flaws and foibles.
What I really love about the series is how real such a fantastical story seems. There’s a lot of violence, sex, spies, battles, politics, and interesting interpretations of fairy tales. Definitely an adult take on fairy tales that feels realistic, there are still moments of magic that make it seem like one big epic modern day fairy tale. I cheer for some characters, boo others, and just chuckle at representations of some (Prince Charming is my love to hate character here). The stories are interesting, spanning from individual love stories, to epic battles, to finally discovering the identity of the Adversary in volume 6.
This series is one I will definitely keep reading until its end. It’s also one I think I’ll want to revisit. I’m looking forward to when I can also read the various spin-offs and crossovers. If you are interested in retellings at all, you should definitely give this world a shot.
Recommend: Yes, for adults who like fairy tale retellings especially, comics readers
Rating: Average rating of 4 out of 5
Read Fables? What’s your favorite fairy tale retelling? Let me know below!