Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Christmas Comic Book Reading!

I was lucky enough to receive quite the pile of graphic novels over Christmas. Even luckier still, I got to read them in front of a blazing log fire while the weather was being absolutely foul outside. And there was beer involved as well :o)
Here’s what I thought of a couple of them...



‘Fables: Legends in Exile’ – Bill Willingham

I’ve been hearing lots of great things about this series and, thanks to my Secret Santa, I got the chance to start right at the very beginning. ‘Legends in Exile’ introduces us to a group of fairy tale characters hiding out in New York after having been driven from their homes by the mysterious Adversary. Times are tough and everyone is out to make a few dollars on the side just to get by. Things are about to get even more desperate though with the murder of Rose Red casting suspicion on a number of people. Only Bigby Wolf’s detective instincts can save the day...
‘Legends in Exile’ is a gorgeous read that will not only have me going back for re-reads but will also more than likely see me searching out the rest of the series. Willingham really hooked me with his depiction of how (ultimately selfish) the fairy tale characters that I grew up with are forced to interact in the real world and what this means for them; the little aside where Pinnochio is forced to come to terms with his unique predicament made me laugh out loud! Even the Big Bad Wolf isn’t quite as bad as you would think and the ‘mini-adventures’ of one the Three Little Pigs are an unexpected highlight...
The ‘Murder/Mystery’ plot works really well by taking things one step at a time in a very methodical manner. Everything happens for a reason and it all fits together nicely right at the end.
If you’re a regular visitor to the blog then I reckon you’ll be hearing more about ‘Fables’... :o)

Ten out of Ten



‘The Goon: Heaps of Ruination’ – Eric Powell

This instalment of ‘The Goon’ has left me rather puzzled in that although it’s my least favourite book so far it’s also the one that I’ve gone back to (for a re-read) the most... While there’s very little here to advance the main plot (which I was hoping for) there’s still plenty to amuse and entertain. The characters are part of what keeps me coming back with Doctor Hieronymous Alloy putting in an appearance along with the Psychic Seal, a seal with strange powers and a mouth that he really needs to keep a better grip on! The story ‘The Vampire Dame Had to Die’ is an intriguing blend of pathos (we get a tantalising glimpse behind the Goon’s hard exterior) and Anne Rice style vampires getting just what they deserve for being all pretentious and covered in lace.
I wasn’t too keen on the ‘Goon vs The Fire Lizard’ tale, visually entertaining but very lightweight in actual content, but this was more than made up for by Buzzard’s rescue and the Goon/Hellboy crossover which is a real joy to read. The contrasting artwork really lets the reader know that Hellboy has ended up somewhere completely different and, if that wasn’t enough, just wait until you meet the Communist Airborne Mollusk Militia...

‘Heaps of Ruination’ represents a slight downturn (as far as I was concerned) in the trade paperback editions but there is still plenty there to have me coming back for another fix! :o)

Eight and a Half out of Ten

4 comments:

Hagelrat said...

awesome!

Steve said...

Fables is my all time favourite comic book series, glad you enjoyed it, and you have better yet to come!

After volume 6 there is the spin-off Jack of Fables series which is even more fun!

Graeme Flory said...

I'm really looking forward to getting into 'Fables' a lot more. I think I've found a new series to collect this year... :o)

Ana said...

I love Flables too, I have read the first 3 books so far but Thea read them all and she has listed volume 10 in her top 10 of 2008.