by Lindsay Young, CMRO Contributing Writer
Written by Bill Willingham, Art by Mark Buckingham
Published: January 2003
It’s been a while since I last took a look at the Fables series, but every time I come back to it, it seems to slip right back on like an old glove. The farmlands plotline wasn’t originally grabbing me like the murder plot was, but as things continue to ramp up and the political undercurrent of the animals’ dissatisfaction begins to become clearer, I’m finding myself more and more drawn in. This issue hints at the further split between Rose Red and Snow White as they both favour different sides in the growing conflict. In addition, a plot to retake the homeland is revealed, headed by the animals who have been storing up ammunition.
This issue introduces some intriguing new characters. Aside from a few more cameos and a knight predicting ambiguous futures, I particularly love the ruthless, fundamentally political Goldilocks, who has not only an intriguing personality and political stance, but also a cool design, with glasses and an oversized coat. Her relationship to the bears is also immediately interesting–is she sleeping with Boo Bear to make a statement, or does she just have a kink? Either answer adds an interesting element to her character. She seems to be made to represent extremes; as such, whether or not you find her rhetoric compelling in any capacity, her methods are pretty callous, and she’s poised to become a formidable antagonist.
The artwork is lovely as always, with soft colours and wonderfully detailed animals that never fall too far to the side of caricature or cartoonishness. There’s a creepy feel to the farmland, very George Orwell or William Golding, that lends itself well to the dangerous tone of it all.
Fables continues to be a rewarding read on almost every level, and I’m sure I won’t wait so long to pick up issue #8 as I did issue #7.