The_Mad_Swede's Reviews > Fables, Vol. 13: The Great Fables Crossover

Fables, Vol. 13 by Bill Willingham
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Feb 18, 2012

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bookshelves: comics, dc-vertigo, fantasy, 2012
Read from February 16 to 18, 2012

This volume collects #83–85 of Bill Willingham's Fables, #33-35 of Jack of Fables and #1-3 of The Literals.

I have previously written about the brilliance of Willingham's Fables , but also noted my disappointment with his and Matthew Sturges' spin-off Jack of Fables . In this context, it is worth noting that while my sentiment that I will probably check out more of the series later on probably holds true, I have not read any of the issues between #5, which ends the first collection, and #33, which is included here.

One of the reasons why this volume is given a severely reduced grading is that it more or less seems to break off from the continuing Fables story and instead favour what is presumably something that issues #6-32 of Jack of Fables have been building up towards. As such, it just doesn't deliver for me.

While I do enjoy metafiction quite a bit, I do think that there is a time and a place for it, and Willingham's Fable universe does not seem to benefit from the concept of the Literals or a very audience conscience Jack. There is after all a difference between having real life Fables, i.e. fairy tale characters that are living beings, and having those characters (or others within the fiction) be aware of the comics they are in.

While the many artists' specific credits are well noted, Willingham and Sturges share writing credits without specifications, and I cannot help but feel that Willingham must have opted to take the back seat on this particular arc. It's not that it's altogether bad, but there is a lot of things in here that come across as somewhat tedious and boring (especially in the context of this great series). That having been said, the ending does pull things together and puts us back on track before the next Fables volume. But I cannot help but feel as if this particular volume isn't really necessary reading, and that the whole of the series might even benefit from skipping past it.

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02/16/2012 page 33
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