Fairest Vol 1: Wide Awake Graphic Novel Review

Fairest Vol 1: Wide AwakeErica gives this comic three starsFairest Vol 1: Wide Awake by Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges
Art: Phil Jimenez, Andy Lanning, Steve Sadowski, Mark Farmer, Andrew Pepoy, and Shawn McManus

I was super excited for Fairest. I’d really hoped for some great stories focused on the women of Fables, telling who they are and giving them great agency. However, I found myself somewhat disappointed by this book. Lots of mixed feelings here. As much as I’m happy to have Briar Rose and the Snow Queen back in circulation, it could’ve been better.

My biggest gripe with Briar Rose and the Snow Queen’s literal revival was that they told it through the eyes of Ali Baba. A man became the center of the first volume of Fairest. And to make it worst, the main conflict between the two women becomes Ali Baba’s love. Or at least some competition around it.

Jonah Panghammer wasn’t quite as amusing as Willingham thought he was, despite the funny Firefly moment. Though it was a nice irony for Ali. And for what readers were probably expecting by Jonah’s addition to the tales. Continue reading “Fairest Vol 1: Wide Awake Graphic Novel Review”

Fables (vol 17): Inherit the Wind Graphic Novel Review

Fables (vol 17): Inherit the WindErica Gives This Comic Four StarsFables (vol 17): Inherit the Wind by Bill Willingham
Art: Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Shawn McManus, Andrew Pepoy, Dan Green, Rick Leonardi, Ron Randall, P. Craig Russell, Zander Cannon, Jim Fern, Ramon Bachs, and Adam Hughs

Oh, Snow, Bigby, and the Cubs, they continue to have some good adventures. I’ve been curious about what Willingham was going to do with all these characters as certainly showing them running around the farm or doing things like going to school wouldn’t exactly be super interesting. Or really wouldn’t be what the Fables comic books are based on interest-wise.

Not surprising to find the North Wind has pissed off the other winds by dominating them. I love Bigby reminding everyone about tossing down with his father and winning. Zephyrus, Yaponcha, and Fei Lian were probably completely justified in wanting some kind of revenge; they just shouldn’t underestimate the combined fury of Snow and Bigby.

I adore that Winter’s challenge was to find Bellflower and Dunster. I’m glad that they’re not going to be out of this book. Winter’s kind of adorable. Of course, the children also have the horrible prophecy abut them. But it does make them have something epic to do.

The Wizard of Oz and the rest of the books must have just come into public domain. Continue reading “Fables (vol 17): Inherit the Wind Graphic Novel Review”

Cinderella: Fables are Forever Graphic Novel Review

Cinderella: Fables are ForeverErica gives this comic two starsCinderella: Fables are Forever by Chris Roberson
Art: Shawn McManus

I had such higher expectations for this book. Cinderella is an awesome character, and I want her to have her own book that showcases her awesome. But this volume just wasn’t it.

First, I’m not a fan of McManus’ art. After being so spoiled by all the Fables‘ art, this was just subpar. I feel like McManus never understood Dorothy. Like he never got how to draw her famous braids and freckles. Not to mention her entire “goth” look was outdated and looked more like something a high schooler would wear to rebel, not a woman. Particularly not a woman who’s supposed to be notorious in the assassin world. If she’s supposed to leave a mark (no pun intended), then her look needs to too. Not to mention when she and Cinderella were fighting, there would be random boobs attacking each other, instead of weapons or fists.

I go back and forth over whether or not I like how McManus draws Cinderella. In some places, her angles are just too harsh. Sometimes she looks too curvy, and sometimes too gaunt. Though I do like how he draws her nose. It keeps the princess feeling. Continue reading “Cinderella: Fables are Forever Graphic Novel Review”

Fables: Super Team (Vol 16) Graphic Novel Review

Fables: Super Team (Vol 16) Erica gives this comic three stars

Fables: Super Team (Vol 16) by Bill Willingham
Art: Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Eric Shanower, Terry Moore, Andrew Pepoy, and Richard Friend

This entire volume of Fables felt like a filler. And not in a good way. There wasn’t anything particularly bad about this volume; it just seemed to not really go anywhere.

It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of Bufkin. First, I don’t like monkeys. And second, I don’t like unnecessary male heroes who have the type of story that a woman character would never have. Now Bufkin is apparently going to take over pan-Oz from its evil rulers. I really hope this storyline is not cut-and-dry or evil-vs-good. (Good, of course, being whatever side Bufkin is on.)

I love the twist that Beast has lost his curse to his daughter, Bliss. I’m really curious at where this will go. Of course, with Bliss being a baby, it’s probably not going anywhere very quickly. Continue reading “Fables: Super Team (Vol 16) Graphic Novel Review”

The Best and the Worst of 2011 Comic Books

Yes, the time has come to say goodbye to 2011 and ring in 2012. Here’s a look back at the Best and the Worst of 2011* Comic Books.

The Best On-Going Series

Echo #261. Echo by Terry Moore
Average rating: 4.7/5 stars
Reading rating: Teen

Moore’s Echo finished with a bang (or did it?) this year. A story of Julie, the unlikely superhero, and stopping the end of the world, Moore’s work is consistently great and on-point. For those scared of the tome that is Strangers in Paradise, check out this much shorter work.
Read my reviews of Echo.
Purchase Echo.

Punisher #52. Punisher by Greg Rucka, Marco Checchetto, Matthew Clark, and Matthew Southworth
Average rating: 4.3/5 stars
Reading rating: Teen

I never thought I’d like a Punisher book as much as I love this one from Rucka. Dive into the gritty world of Frank Castle, his mission, and the fall-out of villains, reporters, cops, and victims. With some beautiful art to accompany it.
Read my reviews of Punisher.
Purchase Punisher.

Batwoman #23. Batwoman by J.H. Williams, W. Haden Blackman, and Amy Reeder Hadley
Average rating: 4.3/5 stars
Reading rating: Teen

The most anticipated comic (for me) ever. Anyone reading my blog is probably not surprised that I love Batwoman. Kate Kane is probably one of my favorite characters ever, and in combination with Williams’ art, this title has been making me very happy. I only want more.
Read my reviews of Batwoman.
Purchase Batwoman. Continue reading “The Best and the Worst of 2011 Comic Books”

Fables Vol 15: Rose Red Graphic Novel Review

Fables Vol 15: Rose RedErica gives this comic two stars

Fables Vol 15: Rose Red by Bill Willingham
Art: Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Inaki Miranda, Andrew Pepoy, Dan Green, Chrissie Zullo, Dave Johnson, Kate McElroy, J.H. Williams III, Joao Ruas, and Adam Hughes

The Story of Frau Totenkinder

I’ve been reading Fables now for a very long time. Fables is not without it’s problems (see the Arabian Fables, see Willingham’s often too transparent politics, see the time I told Willingham how Snow White’s my favorite and he was genuinely shocked). But Fables is a world that has sucked me in. It’s created characters that I love; women characters who’d I’d toss up on that “strong women” characters list from Snow White, Rose Red, and Cinderella to Ozma, Baba Yaga, and the Snow Queen. I cheered the Blue Fairy on in her vendetta against Geppetto as much as I loved to hate Goldilocks. And a character I loved almost as much as Snow White has been Frau Totenkinder, aka Bellflower.

One of the best things about Frau Totenkinder in the entire Fables series has been that she’s an old witch whom everyone is a little frightened of. Even if she’s on their side. Totenkinder is always hiding some knowledge up her sleeve and leading the magical Fables to pull out tricks just when they need them. In the last trade paperback volume, Frau Totenkinder went from being a crone witch to a young witch again, going by her original name Bellflower. There was a smallish outcry against her reverting from crone to mother/maiden in years. In media in general, there’s a distinct lack of older female characters, and with all her power, Totenkinder was powerhouse against both sexism and ageism. Of course, Totenkinder’s story as told in Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall points out that Totenkinder chose to let herself age.

Totenkinder’s de-aging back into Bellflower didn’t bother me until this volume, until Ozma Continue reading “Fables Vol 15: Rose Red Graphic Novel Review”

Fables (Vol 14): Witches Graphic Novel Review

Fables: Witches by Bill WillinghamErica gives this comic three stars

Fables (Vol 14): Witches by Bill Willingham

I felt somewhat disappointed by Witches. I’ve been long waiting for more stories about Frau Totenkinder and the spell-casters, and I felt that as soon as this story got going, it stopped. While the trade itself is not thin, the story felt thin. Plus, the beginning with Bigby ranting felt really Mary Sue-ish, and it started off the whole trade with a bad taste in my mouth.

Part of it was that I’m not very entranced with Bufkin’s story. While I totally understand how Willingham likes to tell the stories where the underdog wins, Bufkin verses Continue reading “Fables (Vol 14): Witches Graphic Novel Review”

Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love Comic Book Review

Cinderella: From Fabletown with LoveErica gives this comic three starsI’ve always loved what Willingham did with Cinderella, so I was very excited to read Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love by Chris Roberson and Shawn McManus. And this miniseries doesn’t fail to disappoint when it comes to more kick ass Cinderella. She’s still a super spy and all that jazz.

Let me first say that I loved Chrissie Zullo’s covers. They are gorgeous. I want prints of them on my walls. I do think that their beauty helped make this series the success that it was. It’s always a draw.

In this tale, Beast sends Cindy on a mission after there’s a flood of magical objects into the Mundy world. She needs to figure who’s doing it and stop them. The auctions are happening in Dubai. (Which immediately sends me bad feelings about where this story is headed given the downright racism in other tales concerning Arabian fables. But I gave Roberson the benefit of the doubt until I read it.)

Before taking off, Cinderella must check on her shoe store, The Glass Slipper. Her employee Crispin is not pleased with all her globetrotting and how she never likes his designs. Of course, he has no idea that she’s a spy. In fact, he thinks that she’s having an affair with Beast, instead of getting debriefed on secret missions.

Cindy also visits Frau Totenkinder for a magical bracelet and ring. Continue reading “Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love Comic Book Review”

Reviews Fables (Vol 13) The Great Fables Crossover

Fables Vol 13Erica gives this comic three starsFables (Vol 13): “The Great Fables Crossover” by Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges

My first biggest problem with this storyline is my complete and utter dislike of Jack Horner. Jack isn’t written as a likable guy, and he’s definitely portrayed as a con-man who’d sell his own mother and sleep with his half-sisters. (Which he did the latter.) However, the text continually lets him walk away without any punishment or responsibility for his actions. Okay, Bigby beats him up; but what does that really teach him?

Usually characters like Jack follow some redemptive path, but Jack hasn’t changed since the first issue of Fables. Which is exactly why I don’t read his spin-off, and I was, in general, pretty happy for his departure from the main title. Of course, Jack wasn’t my only dislike with this story. Continue reading “Reviews Fables (Vol 13) The Great Fables Crossover”

Four Points on Fables’ War and Pieces

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Fables TPB 11Erica gives this comic five starsSpoilers for Fables’ War and Pieces Tradepaperback #11 by Bill Willingham

I’ve been following the Fables series for a quite a while now. Just never really got around to writing about, except in talking about my love of Snow White. Fables is a story that I like to read in tradepaperback as I always want more of it right away. So please don’t spoil me for any further developments in Fabletown. Continue reading “Four Points on Fables’ War and Pieces”