Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Do graphic novels count?

I think they do. While I won't chronicle comic strip compilations here, I think I will add when I'm reading graphic novels.

So, with that in mind, I just finished Bill Willingham's Fables: Super Team and Fables: Inherit the Wind.

Fables, for those not into comics, is an imprint of DC Comics Vertigo line, dealing with characters who more or less walked right out of the story books of our childhood. Only its more like Sondheim's semi-gawdawful Into the Woods musical, where, after the narrator dies, the stories have to find their own path.

These two are actually much later in the series, long after the Adversary (basically, an evil ruler who invaded most of the homelands of the fables) has been defeated and a new adversary (Mr. Dark, more or less the personification of night and all things hidden within the dark) has risen.

In Super Team, Pinocchio is trying to form the fables into a super team to defeat Mr. Dark, who has more or less taken over Manhattan at this point in the story. His theory is that Superheroes always win their battles, and by tapping into that trope, they should be able to take down Mr. Dark. Of course, the fact that they rip off Marvel Comics in doing so just adds to the silliness. (Really, Ozma of Oz doing her best Scarlet Witch was the highlight.) Very well drawn series, and the book is as high quality as everything that has come before.

Inherit the Wind picks up with what happens after the battle with Mr. Dark. Sadly, I can't discuss the plot here without spoiling everything that happened in Super Team. So what I can say is that the new characters introduced are interesting in their own right (Personifications of the East, West, and South winds), and that the odd version of A Christmas Carol featuring Rose Red (Snow White's sister) at the end of the book was fabulous.

I know graphic novels are not for everyone, but Fables, much like Sandman (or pretty much everything else in the Vertigo line) is a very well crafted story with a bunch of picture enhancements. Start at the beginning (Fables: Legends in Exile) and be prepared to see your childhood favorites in a whole new light. (For that matter, grab a copy of Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes. It's Neil Gaimen, it's like buttah.)

Just started Rick Riordan's  The Lightning Thief this morning, but not far enough in to really comment as of yet. Look for it next.