I will start by saying that this is an absolutely gorgeous book. It's a compilation that was obviously done with great care and attention to detail, a...moreI will start by saying that this is an absolutely gorgeous book. It's a compilation that was obviously done with great care and attention to detail, and as a result it has a very imposing physical presence. I found myself checking if my hands were clean before picking it up to read (and I'm not kidding).
What to say about the comic itself... "Sandman" is fantastic, quite different from what I got used from a comic book (and it must have been quite ground-breaking at the time it came out). I started reading Watchmen at the same time I was reading The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 1, and found myself comparing the two. While Watchmen is undoubtedly much more political and thought-provoking (and also quite original in its storytelling), Sandman is a lot more subtle. It's an intricate world of fantasies, of metaphors and of symbols. I could read only one story at the time, and after a while I figured out why. I found myself being unable to fully appreciate all the little details, references and symbols, because there were so many. Thus, I slowed down (and good thing I did), making this the book that has taken me the longest time to read in my life.
The final part of the book is dedicated to the making-of the comic, and is really an excellent read. I enjoyed immensely going through the whole issue of "A Midsummer Night's Dream", step by step, with the quirky commentaries of Neil Gaiman to the illustrator.
The artists that collaborated on this book are all very talented. I have a soft spot for Dave McKean's work, and his issue covers were another thing that made me love this book. If you like comic books, then I heartily recommend you get your "clean" hands on this.(less)
I wasn't very impressed by this book. The artwork is good but the stories left me a bit cold. The first one felt like an almost superficial look into...moreI wasn't very impressed by this book. The artwork is good but the stories left me a bit cold. The first one felt like an almost superficial look into the Joker's reasons and story. The second one, well, I have to admit that I don't know much about the Green Lantern beyond the basics, so while it was OK to read it didn't really captivate me. Overall, this is an OK book but not a great one.(less)
This book was a very nice surprise. I had heard good things about it from friends, but it still managed to surprise me (in a good way) because it is n...moreThis book was a very nice surprise. I had heard good things about it from friends, but it still managed to surprise me (in a good way) because it is nothing of what you'd expect from a graphic novel. I don't really know how to even describe it; it presents itself like a description of cities, but it works more like an exploration of human behavior. Overall, very interesting read. The art is beautiful as well.(less)
I have to say that this book, while not bad, wasn't all that great either. The premises for the stories were nice, but the execution left me wanting....moreI have to say that this book, while not bad, wasn't all that great either. The premises for the stories were nice, but the execution left me wanting. The artwork is pretty good, but, I have to say, not incredibly memorable. Don't have much more to say about this book, it left me a bit cold.(less)
I was looking forward to reading this book. I had heard and read about it, and even watched the movie adaptation (which, in my opinion, is not as good...moreI was looking forward to reading this book. I had heard and read about it, and even watched the movie adaptation (which, in my opinion, is not as good as the book itself) before reading it. I wasn't disappointed. While this book probably must have had a much greater impact at the time the comic first appeared (due to the political and economic climate) it's still a wonderful read today. To top that off, it's presented in a very original way, as far as comics go.
I won't go deep into the plot here, to avoid spoilers. The atmosphere is dark, almost depressing, mostly detached. The most interesting thing for me was the psychological and philosophical studies of the characters' motives. The side stories, newspaper clippings and excerpts, and even the "comic within the comic" added interest to an already intricate story. I found myself fascinated by Dr. Manhattan and Rorschach. Not your usual comic book heroes, that's for sure.
I was disappointed by this book. I'm a fan of Terry Pratchett and his Discworld series, and The Color of Magic is one of my favourites, so I guess I a...moreI was disappointed by this book. I'm a fan of Terry Pratchett and his Discworld series, and The Color of Magic is one of my favourites, so I guess I approached this book with high expectations. I just can't help compare it with the original, and I felt that in graphic novel form it lost most of its spark. Somehow it was much less funny and much more confusing. The relationship between words and images was at times too simplistic and descriptive, and the story seemed to jump all over the place.
I've never read The Light Fantastic so I was able to enjoy it a bit more, but even so, I'm guessing the original is much better.
Also, I was rather let down by the artwork. Some of it is quite good but most of it is predictable and not very interesting. What's more, a lot of the chapter covers were pixellated.
All in all, a disappointing read, and I would recommend that people interested in Discworld read the original books instead.(less)
Being rather new to the comics world (I only started reading them more steadily last year), I was eager to know more about the medium, and various onl...moreBeing rather new to the comics world (I only started reading them more steadily last year), I was eager to know more about the medium, and various online searches kept pointing to Understanding Comics The Invisible Art (also by Scott McCloud) as a great starting point. Unfortunately, at the time I set out to buy it it was unavailable, so I settled for this one instead.
I have to say I loved it! It really opened my eyes to a lot of details I was missing, or rather, things that I was aware of on an unconscious level, but which make a huge difference when you're aware of them. Even if you don't actually want to "make" comics, this is still a great book to further your understanding of them. My appreciation for the medium and the amount of work that goes to each page certainly improved.
If I had to find something wrong with this book, it would be that it only scratches the surface on most points - but then again, the book describes itself as a starting point, and throughout the book you get many pointers from the author to further your knowledge of what's being discussed. Also, one has to keep in mind that this is only one of the three books Scott McCloud wrote on the subject, so what's missing from this one is probably explained in the others (which I will definitely be checking out).
I also love that this was written and presented in comic book form. It makes it a very fun read, while still being informative. Overall, it was everything I expected it to be.(less)
Ever since I started reading graphic novels that recommendations for The Complete Persepolis started appearing everywhere, and so I was eager to read...moreEver since I started reading graphic novels that recommendations for The Complete Persepolis started appearing everywhere, and so I was eager to read it.
"Persepolis" is a a compilation of the memoirs of a young iranian woman, presented in the form of a graphic novel with a very simple, yet really effective, visual style. Part of its strength certainly lies on this, since the high contrast and lack of excessive detail work really well with the story, with everything getting reduced to its essence in an extremely skillful way.
Another plus is Marjane Satrapi's character herself. She's witty, smart and politically-oriented. But the best thing about this book was the fact that it explores a situation that doesn't get discussed nearly enough. Anyone who is interested in politics and world history knows something about Iran, but I, for one, knew little about the actual lives of iranians. The news that reach the rest of the world can never quite grasp what it's like to live in the middle of a conflict. Here we see the perceptions of people who try to get through their everyday lives, and we get to see what is common everywhere, and at the same time, those things that are unique to their situation. I admit that after I finished reading I started looking at Iran in a different way, (hopefully) understanding it a bit more.
This book is divided into two parts (previously published seperately): "The Story of a Childhood" and "The Story of a Return". At I was reading I was rather disappointed with the second one, but as I've had more time to think about it my opinion has changed. The first one is much more politicized, but it's also very one-sided - she is not yet old enough to really grasp everything that is going on around her, but nonetheless her views are shaped by what she sees happening to her family and their way of life. On the second part, she is growing up, and things reveal themselves to be much more complicated than they seemed. Her convictions get challenged, and we follow through the various conflicts in a much more personal, yet still very politicized way. Ultimately, it becomes more about her than about Iran, and we're reminded that this is only one personal story in a million possible ones.(less)
Personal tales of survival from the Nazi concentration camps have appeared everywhere in literature. Historians have been able to piece together the r...morePersonal tales of survival from the Nazi concentration camps have appeared everywhere in literature. Historians have been able to piece together the reality of the war, of Auschwitz, Dachau and the other camps, of the horrors that went on, of the suffering that people went through. And still, for me, they continue to be incredible.
Like I said when reviewing Primo Levi's If This Is a Man / The Truce, these stories interest me because I can't bring myself to understand why things happened the way they did, and how it is possible for human beings to convince themselves that they need to exterminate other human beings as if they were vermin. This is the first striking thing about this book - the powerful visual metaphor the author uses with humans being depicted as animals. The Jews are represented by mice, which works really well to show just exactly how the others viewed them - as lesser, disgusting beings that should be eradicated. As a natural consequence, Germans are portrayed as cats (though I have to say I wasn't too happy about that, since I'm a cat person). Non-Jewish Poles are portrayed as pigs, Americans as dogs. It adds a whole different dimension to the story, since we see them as they saw each other - different categories of species.
And yet, this is more than a memoir in the form of graphic novel. It also explores the dynamic between father and child, the ambivalence of the author towards his parents, whom he both loves and resents, and the way he comes to terms with the history of his family, including feeling guilty for having had everything too easily compared to them, and feeling that his own life story could never come close to that of his parents. It also explains how difficult it was for Mr. Spiegelman to grasp the true meaning of what their parents went through, and his efforts to tell the story we are reading.
The artwork is simple but poignant, and the animal metaphor quickly disappears into the story, which makes it even more piercing when we see real photographs of the people depicted throughout the book. The photograph of the author's father wearing the prisoner's garments is especially touching.
For me, this was different from other Holocaust memoirs I've read, not only because it's in graphic novel form, but also because it's told in the point of view of someone who isn't a survivor, but a descendant, and so can explore the effect that the Holocaust had on those few who survived it. Surviving it wasn't enough. These events affected profoundly whole countries and whole generations of people.
I picked up the first volume of this collection because I had heard good things about it. The premise of taking the world of fairytales and blending i...moreI picked up the first volume of this collection because I had heard good things about it. The premise of taking the world of fairytales and blending it with our own seemed interesting enough, and I was curious to see how it would be approached.
I have to say I wasn't terribly impressed with it. The artwork is decent, and I liked the back story about the exile of the fairytale characters from their homelands. In fact, if I ever get another book in this series, it will be because I'm interested in knowing more about that story, because the plot for this one certainly didn't cut it. Basically you have a mystery that is neither complicated, unexpected or, in my opinion, as relevant as the characters make it out to be. I finished reading this and pretty much thought, "Who cares?". And the way it was presented wasn't particularly interesting either. The overall feeling was one of underwhelming.
Still, I will probably read another one from this series, not only for the reason I have explained, but also because I want to understand why everyone seems to like it so much. (less)
Review: I read Scott McCloud's other book because when I searched for this one it was unavailable, and I was too eager to learn more about comics to wait. I don't regret it, but I do think this one is a better starting point, with a more general (but still very detailed) overview of the comic book world. From a historical study of comic's predecessors, to a research about what makes this a distinct art form, there is bound to be something interesting here, whether you're a long term comic book addict or a new comer.
The chapter on the "invisible" part of comics, that is, the space between the panels, which the reader fills in, was one of the most interesting, as was the chapter about art and what moves humans as artists. At some points you could tell this was written over 20 years ago, but most of the discussions still feel fresh nowadays.
This is a great book that I recommend to anyone who is interested in comics.(less)
Background: I had never heard of this book until I got it as a gift for my birthday last month, but I have been a huge fan of Dave McKean's work since...moreBackground: I had never heard of this book until I got it as a gift for my birthday last month, but I have been a huge fan of Dave McKean's work since I discovered it around four or five years ago, so it was a really nice surprise. I first became aware of his work through the graphic novel Black Orchid, which he made with Neil Gaiman. I remember marveling at the beautiful panels in that book and wondering who this amazingly talented artist was. After that, it was only a matter of time until I got acquainted with the rest of his illustrative works. This, however, is the first book I got that wasn't made together with other authors, which got me curious.
Review: Let me be a bit unorthodox and start this review with a conclusion: go buy it. Seriously. You won't regret it, if you're a fan of his work or of the comic / graphic novel genre in general, specially if, like me, you like to see the boundaries of a medium being explored to the limits. That being said...
Pictures That Tick is a collection of short stories, some made of words and images, others of only images, some drawn, some painted, some photographed, some all of the above. The author includes a short introduction to each of the stories, which in itself I found very interesting. In some of them he would allude to what had inspired him to make it, including some references to other artists such as Duane Michals (who happens to be one of my favourite photographers), while in others it seemed like I was staring at written versions of his scattered thoughts. In fact, many of the short stories felt like that - a materialized string of ideas, or stream of consciousness, rather than a story per se - and this is particularly notable in the stories in which he uses no words.
The artwork itself is nothing short of amazing. Dave McKean seems to have mastered many different mediums in a way that many other people can only aspire to. If you're familiar with his work you probably already know this, but it still came as a surprise, to see so many mediums intertwined in such a lovely manner in one single book. The highlights, for me, were "Ash", a story about a girl with a tree growing through her, and "His Story", which follows the life of a boy who had listened to his father's story. It sounds rather simplistic when I put it down in words, but believe me, it's everything but. The book is full of metaphors and word play and little pearls of wisdom which sometimes come in the form of an image. This quote, from "Ash", particularly struck home with me:
She looked out at the other trees, and she realised that her life was one of thousands, any one of which could have been her, she had grown wherever her life had taken her, she had drifted wherever the wind had blown her.
This is a gorgeous, thought-provoking book and I am infinitely glad I came across it. It showcases Dave McKean's talent not only as a visual artist, but also as a skilled storyteller.
What's Next: Some of these stories touched me deeply and still linger in my mind. I now have all his books (including the ones he worked on with other authors) on my wishlist. I sincerely hope he makes another one with short stories such as these.(less)
Background: In keeping with my "jumping from one thing to another" theme I've been having in books lately, I decided to read a...morePosted on my book blog.
Background: In keeping with my "jumping from one thing to another" theme I've been having in books lately, I decided to read a graphic novel. This one had been staring at me for a while on my to-read pile - and really, you can't help but notice it with a cover like this - so I gave it a go.
Review: This is the first book that I've read that's entirely devoted to Joker - I've never read Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore, which seems to be lauded as the best in the subject. And even though I've read a few Batman comics, I have to admit that my biggest experience with Joker before this was Christopher Nolan's film, The Dark Knight. I loved Joker's character in the movie. It's up there with my favourite villains of all time. So, going into the book, I was keen to delve deeper into his mind.
Did the book succeed to do this? Overall, I have to say, unfortunately, it didn't. The premise seemed interesting - Joker being mysteriously released from the Arkham asylum, eager to get control of the city back from those who had usurped it while he was away - and the artwork grabbed me immediately. We see the story told through the eyes of Jonny Frost (though there is at least a couple of scenes we get to look at where he isn't present), who at times seems a bit too simple as a character, almost verging on straight-forward, but actually, towards the end of the book, he was probably the only character whose actions I understood. Maybe it's just me, but I didn't get the rest.
Joker especially was a disappointment (it was, after all, a book about him). I expected, of course, a sociopath, but his actions in the movie, while horrifying from everyone else's point of view, made sense inside his own world. He was ruthless while still managing to outwit everyone. In this book, he is released from the asylum and goes around killing people and trying to get money, supposedly to wrestle control of the city back into his hands... And he does only that for most of the book. There's no finesse in his actions (which is interesting since later in the book he accuses Jonny Frost of being too obvious and having no finesse). He seems to be no more than a deranged lunatic who likes killing people.
Maybe I was wrong to base my expectations on the movie. But the book does nothing to get one's mind off Heath Ledger's rendition of Joker - the design seems to be based on him, actually. And the dark, haunted look of the city also bears an uncanny resemblance to the movie.
I didn't get Batman's actions either. He's dormant for most of the book, only reacting when Harvey Dent asks him to. I won't get into the reasons Dent asks him for help to avoid spoilers, but it all seemed a bit too loose to me. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that nothing is explained in this book - not the reasons why he was released, nor his actions, nor why he seems to be taken by surprise when Batman strikes back - which would be fine by me if the book offered some kind of psychological exploration of the characters. It doesn't. The only character where it succeeds at this somewhat is Jonny Frost.
However, the book did keep me interested to the end, and the main reason for that was the artwork. Beginning with the cover (which made my mother systematically turn the book face down - literally - because, she claimed, it creeped her out) to the beautiful panels inside, I thought it was great throughout. The style goes from clear-cut inks to a more painterly look, and does this without seeming disconnected, but instead adding a strangeness that was lacking in the story. There were also a couple of moments that stood out for me, even if the story didn't; one of those happens in the meeting Harvey Dent has with Jonny Frost, in which he tells him, regarding his loyalty to the Joker:
You know you are involved with a sick man who will see you die? He will stand over your body, with your blood on his hands and I promise you he will laugh... Not because your life means nothing to him. But because death, for him... Is the punch line.
Overall, I chose to give it three stars because I liked reading it, and even though it fell short of my expectations (except for the artwork), I don't consider it to have been a waste of time.
What's Next: Since everyone seems to have great things to say about Alan Moore's book, I added it to my wishlist. I'll also definitely be checking out other works by the artist, Lee Bermejo, since the book got me curious.(less)
Background: A disclaimer: This book is, to my knowledge, only available in Portuguese (at least so far).
I came across this book a couple of months ago, and its unassuming cover and strange title didn't do very much to peak my interest at the time. However, I'm always interested in checking out new work from Portuguese authors, specially in the comics / graphic novels department, which is still too small here. Since then I've seen this book for sale practically in every bookstore I go to, which is out of the ordinary for any comic, but it makes me happy to see it's getting the attention it deserves.
Review: This is a story set in Lisbon, a refuge point in World War II for people trying to flee Europe and the Nazi persecution. All over town children have been mysteriously disappearing from their homes, and the police find themselves helpless to solve the situation, leaving the parents disgruntled and the city in near chaos. Seemingly oblivious to this at first, we meet Eurico, a guy who works as delivery boy in a pizza store, who has a few problems of self-confidence and who wishes he could do more with his life than being screamed at by his boss and daydream about his co-worker. When his motorcycle (on which his job depends) gets stolen by a creature who looks very much like a goblin, his friend suggests he goes to an occult investigator, named Dog Mendonça, for help, and all hell breaks loose.
There were some things I loved about this book, others not so much. I absolutely loved the characters, specially Pazuul, the demon trapped inside an 8 year-old girl's body. Very out of the ordinary and simply hilarious. The others were less original and more cliché, but their interactions made up for it, as there are a few moments of pure "laughing out loud" which for me were the high point of the book. I also smiled whenever I came across a reference for World of Warcraft.
My major gripe was with the story. I had only read the back cover and the inside flap of the cover (hadn't even started on the book at all!) and already guessed who the big villain was. The plot was just too straight-forward and predictable for my taste. Everything that I guessed would happen, happened. And the characters acted in ways that were somewhat hard to believe... I mean, after a couple of hours together they were already calling each other "friends", and the total lack of any incredulity Pizzaboy (aka Eurico) had when he first came into contact with the supernatural world made me doubt him as a character a bit.
Also, as I was reading this, I felt like I was looking at the storyboard for a movie, and not a graphic novel per se. This ultimately made sense when I read the making-of, since the script was originally to be made into a movie, but the author turned to the graphic novel medium when he realized he could never get the funds for it in Portugal, at least not without giving up quality. And lastly, there are many references to other movies, too many in my opinion, that are also explained in the making-of.
However, I'm still very happy I came across and read this book, and that they managed to make it and publish it. It was fun to read and I'm interested in reading more adventures with these characters. Also, the artwork is really nice and adapts itself perfectly to the story, both in terms of drawing and coloring. Here's to wishing they make another one!
What's Next: I'll be looking out for another issue in this collection, and also for works by other Portuguese comic book authors, who I'm pretty sure are out there trying to make amazing books but failing to find the funds for it.(less)
Background: I will admit this right from the beginning: I got this book because of its cover. It's deceptively simple and quite...morePosted on my book blog.
Background: I will admit this right from the beginning: I got this book because of its cover. It's deceptively simple and quite brilliant. And the phrase that's pictured coming out (or going into) the book really piqued my interest: Stories are the only thing worth dying for. Food for thought.
Review: Wilson Taylor is the author of the most celebrated fantasy book series in the world. Surpassing even Harry Potter's popularity, the Tommy Taylor series follows the adventures of a boy wizard, his friends Sue and Peter, and a magical flying cat as they battle an evil vampire called Count Ambrosio (the similarity to Harry Potter's storyline is evident). The author's son, Tom Taylor, is believed by fans to be the model for his father's stories, and when Wilson Taylor disappears, his son tries to cash in on his father's legacy in any way he can. However, he is haunted by abandonment issues and resentment at being looked at only as a fictional character. When doubts are raised about his past, and whether or not he is truly the son of the missing author, Tom Taylor is thrust into a lot more trouble than he could conceive.
I liked the story, the premise is interesting, and all the literary references make this a true pleasure for any book lover. I had a few problems with the execution - for example, I thought that the story evolved quite slowly, with the main character not figuring out things that are made quite obvious to the reader. I guess this is fairly true to reality - after all, if you were in the main character's shoes, just how easily would you believe you were actually a character made flesh, or that all the literary mumble-jumbo your father taught you would be useful to battle enemies you're not even aware of? In that sense, the character of Tommy is believable, even if he's a bit insufferable (at least to me, he came out as whiny and kinda spoiled).
Even so, I found it a bit confusing, which I guess is the result of only reading the beginning of the story (when the book ends you feel like the story has only just started) and the bits of information that is thrown in in the form of blog entries, chat discussions, and back story. Still, I kinda liked the vibe of mystery-to-be-solved this gave, and I'm really looking forward to the next issue. Also, the fact that stories are presented as being the thing that makes the world go roung is really interesting.
Overall, thought-provoking and out of the ordinary. If you like fast-paced, action-driven comics, then I guess this one isn't for you. But if you're a passionate writer or a reader, I'm sure you'll be able to connect with this book.
What's Next: Will definitely check out the next volume.(less)
Background: I am a big fan of Neil Gaiman and his Sandman series. I came across the more recent, graphic novel retelling of thi...morePosted on my book blog.
Background: I am a big fan of Neil Gaiman and his Sandman series. I came across the more recent, graphic novel retelling of this book first, and while it appealed to me, it was nothing compared to what I experienced when I looked at the original version. The cover is absolutely beautiful, golden and luminous without being kitschy.
Review: It all begins with a wager between a badger and a fox. In a Japanese mountainside, there was a little temple, hardly visited by anyone anymore, and in it lived a monk. The fox and the badger wanted this temple for a den, and decided that whoever got the monk to abandon it would win it. But the monk wasn't easily deceived, and somewhere along the way, the fox falls in love with him. And so begins a tale of love, sadness and sacrifice.
I don't know why this book had such a strong effect on me. It's a simple but lovely story which reminded me of old fables, albeit filled with much more sadness and subtlety than usual. But I found myself being only able to read it very slowly, a few pages at a time, to let it sink in.
The illustrations played a big role. In fact, even though I love Neil Gaiman's writing, Yoshitaka Amano's art is what made this book truly shine (in more than one way). It's beautiful, with an incredible use of color and monochrome, and whimsical lines.
It doesn't matter if you're not familiar with the Sandman storyline, as this falls outside of it, but if you are, you'll be able to appreciate the little details much more.
Traveling sketchbooks seem to be popping up everywhere these days, but this was my first experience with one of them. I bought...morePosted on my book blog.
Traveling sketchbooks seem to be popping up everywhere these days, but this was my first experience with one of them. I bought this during my city's book fair, mainly because the author was there and, knowing his work but not having owning any of it, I really wanted something for him to sign.
The book's strongest point is Ricardo Cabral's art. He sketches in situ and then photographs the scene so he can color it back home. Thus, the paintings end up looking very photographic, mixed with his style of drawing, result in an unique look that's very appealing. However, this book had a few weaker points for me. First and foremost, the binding. My copy was read twice and all the pages are already falling out from the spine. Second, the words that accompany the images, which supposedly narrate the travel, hinder more than help the book. They're too superficial to give true insight into the journey. Just by looking at the images, you can tell that it was the author's intention not to have a particular story or direction, but the words make it seem otherwise.
Still, this is a lovely book, and a good introduction if you don't know Ricardo Cabral's art.(less)
Background: After reading (and being totally unimpressed by) the first volume of this series, I decided to give "Fables" anothe...morePosted on my book blog.
Background: After reading (and being totally unimpressed by) the first volume of this series, I decided to give "Fables" another shot, simply because I wanted to understand why this is acclaimed widely as an amazing comics series. After the underwhelming first volume I was weary, but still hopeful. And, as it turns out, with good reason.
Review: Taking inspiration from Orwell's Animal Farm, this volume follows the story as the non-human looking Fables, forced to live away from the eyes of the non-magical population, decide to rebel against their more human looking counterparts, who live in recluse in New York City. With a half-baked plan to overthrow their "oppressors" and then invade the lands that were taken from the Fables by "The Adversary", characters like the Three Little Pigs, the Three Bears, Shere Khan and Baghera, led by Goldilocks, champion a revolution by overthrowing Weyland Smith, the mayor of the Farm, and enslaving him so they could force him to make weapons modified for use by the non-human Fables. Snow White and her sister, Rose Red, get caught up in this affair when they go visit the farm (Rose on community service because of the events in the last book) and Snow is forced to take matters into her hands, while her sister seems to fall in with the traitors.
The characters were all much more fleshed-out, staying true to their storybook originals, but still showing a twist (often very macabre) that made them interesting and unexpected. However, if you were annoyed by Rose Red on the first volume, be prepared - she is still an arrogant, spoiled brat, and Snow White's naivety towards her is sometimes infuriating. The story is much better as well, and this time I found myself caring about what would happen next. The jokes were also funnier and didn't feel forced at all, just part of the story and world.
All in all, a huge improvement over the last one (however, I still think it has the potential to get better). I will definitely keep reading this series.(less)
Background: I'm starting to really like this series (it's come a long way from the first issue). I'm buying the issues in order...morePosted on my book blog.
Background: I'm starting to really like this series (it's come a long way from the first issue). I'm buying the issues in order when I can find them.
Review: In this issue, there are a couple of stories unrelated to the general storyline: one follows Jack of the Tales (still of a pretty vacuous mind), and the other gives a little cultural background for the Liliputians. Both are very funny and provide great context for the story. I heard Jack of the Tales even has its own spinoff of the series (along with Cinderella), but I've yet to check it out.
By the way, don't read this if you haven't read the second book. Should go without saying, but...
The rest of the story picks up where the last one ended, with Snow White convalescing from the encounter with Goldilocks on the farm. Things have been going smoothly in Fabletown, with Bigby Wolf taking care of things while Snow is in the hospital. One day, a journalist asks for an audience with Wolf and lets him know he's been spying on the Fables underground New York community for the last three years, and that he's discovered they're immortal. He threatens to publish everything, and the Fables have to find a way to keep him from unmasking them. There's some disagreement among the Fables as to the best course of action, and Bluebeard starts getting resentful towards Wolf and Snow's authority.
This series keeps getting better with each issue. The characters are still very much "archetypes": Snow White is icy but innocent, Wolf is scraggy but loyal, Jack is resourceful but dumb... But they make sense inside their own stories in that they're not regular humans, they are Fables after all. And inside these archetypes, they are getting more interesting, specially Bigby Wolf and Prince Charming.
The humor is still there, still getting better. I actually laughed out loud reading Jack's story. The art is top notch as well, specially when it comes to the covers, which are simply beautiful.
I'm starting to get why this series is so popular. Will definitely pick up the next one.(less)