The Barnes & Noble Review
Award-winning cartoonist and writer Bill Willingham answers the burning question, "So what happens after fairy-tale characters live happily ever after?" in this installment of his graphic novel saga. Fables, a darkly enchanting -- and decidedly mature -- series, chronicles the adventures of characters from popular fables and nursery rhymes that have been forced into exile by a mysterious enemy known only as the Adversary.
Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall
is a prequel of sorts, taking place early on in the history of Fabletown, the clandestine community that the exiled characters (known as Fables) established in New York City in the early 17th century. In an attempt to warn the characters of the Arabian fable realms about the looming threat of the Adversary, emissary Snow White travels overseas to visit with the almighty Sultan -- only to become imprisoned by the King of the Age and sentenced to death. For the last three years, the Sultan, who is certain that all women are evil, has wed a maiden every night only to have her beheaded in the morning; and Snow White is next in line. But the clever ex-wife of Prince Charming beguiles the Sultan with 1,001 nights of fantastic folktales and stories about the Adversary's brutal conquest of the European fairy-tale realms.
Featuring artwork by some of the greatest illustrators in the field (Charles Vess, Brian Bolland, Tara McPherson, Esao Andrews, et al.), Willingham's Fables offering is utterly mesmerizing -- a visually stunning feast for the eyes as well as the imagination. Fans of fables, fairy tales, and folklore who have not yet discovered this brilliantly unique series should do so as soon as possible. Highly recommended. Paul Goat Allen
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Published January 1, 2012