Larissa's Reviews > Fables: The Deluxe Edition, Vol. 2

Fables by Bill Willingham
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Jan 15, 11

bookshelves: 2011, usa, graphic-novels, read-by-recommendation, spontaneous-reads
Read from January 11 to 15, 2011

Having finished the second Deluxe installment in Fables, I can now safely say that I am 'into' this series. By which I not only mean that I am really enjoying it, but also, that I am immersed enough to really feel compelled to continue. The story lines in this second book are less coherent as a whole--although they do continue the overall plot arc--but they work really well to expand the scope of the world and give you great (and wonderfully tangential) background on a lot of the characters. Jack of Tales gets his first--of what I'm told are many--personal installment, as does Boy Blue. There are also some interesting plot twists that are, I think, actually pretty ballsy for how risky they are. For instance, major character gets killed off right when you were getting used to him (or her, I won't spoil) as a major plot instigator, in a rather surprising turn of events.

This compilation was also interesting because it intermixes the very different artwork and drawing styles of several different people throughout the story. In some cases, such as "Barleycorn Brides" story, it's a stand-alone story, so having a different artist (with a really playful 'comic-booky' drawing style) is a nice way to differentiate between a major plot arc and a sub-story, as well as really changing the episode's tone. ("Barleycorn Brides" is actually related by a fable as a fable to a fable... if you can follow that logic.)

However, the artist switch-ups are most noticeable in the major arc stories. The book starts with illustrations by Lan Medina, whose artwork I think is really stellar. Later in the book, Mark Buckingham picks up the illustrations. And while I recognize that he is a talented artist--and someone who is intricately involved in Fables, I have to say I don't like his artwork as much. I'm no expert on (graphic novel) art, but I just really prefer Lan Medina's character drawings. This is actually the first time I've had a preference for one graphic artist's work over another, though, so perhaps this means I'm actually developing something of an aesthetic.
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