Common Room’s #ALLtheTales: Fables

To kick off February I’m joining in with ComRom’s #ALLtheTales – a week of content all about fairy tales, in the many, many forms they take! For my post, I want to share a great comic series: Fables by Bill Willingham and Lan Medina.

all the tales fables volumes

The series Fables follows characters from different fairy tales & folklore as they live in modern times. Exiled from their homeland by The Adversary, these fables now reside among us in secret. Throughout the series we learn many of the histories of each character, along with a progressing main plot and separate side stories as well.

I think what I love most about Fables is how these well known storybook characters have been modernized, and how they deal with living in the human world. In fact, this entire series is what I wish the show Once Upon a Time would have been. I think it’s a huge reason I can’t get into OUAT, as I find myself wishing things happened like they do in Fables!

all the tales fables

The characters (known as Fables) who can pass as humans reside in our world in an area they’ve designated ‘Fabletown’, and it’s run like a small government. No spoilers as to the leadership, but I found many of them pretty funny. As for Fables who look non-human all the time (for example, The Three Little Pigs) they reside in a area in upstate NY called The Farm. The fact that they are segregated and forced to live in isolation becomes a huge plot point in the early volumes.

The stories are definitely what I would consider on the dark end of things. And considering there are 22 trade volumes of this, there is a LOT of material. I’ve read through Volume 10, and some are definitely more interesting than others. The art is consistently good, which definitely helps when some of the side stories aren’t that compelling.

For anyone who enjoys a good fairy tale modernization, I’d definitely recommend Fables. It’s compelling and especially in the early novels has pretty interesting parallels to our current world about race and class equality. The stories told are definitely for adults, while still featuring all the characters we know and love from childhood tales.

Be sure to check out other articles from Common Room for #ALLtheTales week, or write up your own! Have you ever read Fables? What did you think?

  • Fables is a comic I’ve heard a lot of people mention, but have never read. It sound right up my alley, I’ll have to check it out!

    • Kay

      I really enjoy! It has it’s moments that aren’t so great, but with so many volumes that’s to be expected. Overall, excellent! I hope you enjoy it if you give it a try.

      • Would you recommend starting with the first volume?

  • gamerwife

    We were introduced to Fables through the Wolf Among Us video game. Have you played it? It’s very good and it’s a narrative game, so it’s good for less experienced game players.

    • Kay

      I have heard of it! I debated including a bit about it in this post actually. I heard of it last year, but at the time had no idea it was connected to the Fables world at all. Then I read about the character Bigby and I was like wait a minute, THAT Bigby? And then discovered the connection. I’ve heard good things about it, and definitely want to check it out sometime!

  • I’ve been meaning to start reading this! But right now I only go to the comic shops when i’m in Austin and by then there are so many issues of the things I currently read out that it’s a little tough on the pocketbook haha

    • Kay

      True story! I have so many comics I’d like to keep up with, but buying trades racks up the spending so quickly. Luckily, these are my brothers and I was able to borrow them from him and save my wallet!

  • This is definitely one I’ve wanted to get into for a long time. I’ve heard so many great things about it (though I’ve also heard that some issues are just meh) and it looks like something I’d absolutely love! I’m glad you liked it, I’ll have to check it out for sure:)

    • Kay

      Definitely do! And yes, some of the side stories can be a little ho hum, but at least there’s pretty art? 😀 With so many issues though I’d be shocked if they managed to keep them ALL fascinating.

  • The whole series is sitting on my ereader, but I haven’t read them yet 🙁 It’s just so big and overwhelming! Lol. I played Wolf Among Us, it was really awesome! I know I’d have appreciated it a lot more if I had read Fables first, though…

    • Kay

      I want to play that! I didn’t even hear about it until last year and was really excited when I discovered it was all connected to Fables. And it definitely is a big undertaking to read…my brother loaned me the first 17 trades and I’ve only gotten through ten of them…I find I like to take a break in between and keep coming back.

  • Emma

    I absolutely adore fables. Have you played The Wolf Among Us? It’s based on the comics – I think you’ll really enjoy it.

    • Kay

      I haven’t but I really want to! I heard of it last year and was so excited that it was connected to the Fable universe. And I’ve heard it’s really good, so I’ll definitely have to check it out!

  • I saw them the other day in Forbidden Planet but I didn’t buy them LOL I had picked up other comics and I was already freaking myself out because of the amount of them I was carrying around LOL But I will pick them up soon 😉 I like fables, so I’m sure I’ll like this version!

    • Kay

      I think you may enjoy it for sure! There are so many too, so it’ll be a series you can keep coming back for.

  • I’m def going to have to see if my library has these and try them!
    Also Kay, this is EXACTLY what our guest Michael Harle raved about on our OUAT episode. I think you’d enjoy it because you can relate to the frustration hahaha.
    And thanks so much for participating. <3

    • Kay

      I’ll definitely check that ep out! And I really hope you enjoy Fables if you check them out!

      • Going to pm you about this because my library seems to have them out of order and am not sure what to start with!

        • Kay

          Definitely do! I’ll help you out if I can!

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