Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Fables #95: Rose Red Chapter Two: Snow White and Rose Red

Fables Vol. 13: The Great Fables Crossover  Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love Fables, Book 14: Witches

I will sheepishly admit I am rather lackadaisical when it comes to following Fables. In other words, I don't keep up with individual issues and randomly wait for the volume collections and the right mood to discover what has been going in within the pages.  Time demands keep that from being very frequent.

However I stumbled upon a review of the most recent issue, What I bought - 12 May 2010 by Greg Burgas, and was intrigued. The issue discussed is Fables #95 ("Rose Red Chapter Two: Snow White and Rose Red").

Willingham does something interesting in this issue: He tells a straight-forward fairy tale. He basically retells the fairy tale of Snow White and Rose Red, with the enchanted prince/bear and the grumpy dwarf whose beard Snow White cuts off in increments. It's kind of bizarre, because Willingham has simply assumed we know the fairy tales behind these characters, and some are far more obscure than this one. The one thing he does is add an undercurrent of danger with the bear and his nursery rhyme "Snowy-white, Rosy-red, Will you beat your lover dead?", which is far creepier in Willingham's hands than in the original. He also shows that this story is being told because Rose Red, in the present, is talking to her mother, who tells her there's more to the story. That will, of course, be revealed next issue. As this story is cribbed almost totally from the original, Willingham's writing doesn't really come into it too much, but Buckingham, as usual, is tremendous. He has to be good at animals on this title, and his bear is large and threatening yet still a bit cuddly. It's hard to imagine him going all feral on the dwarf, but Buckingham sells it well (and, in terms of animals, his eagle is amazing). Meanwhile, the dwarf is much the same way - he looks totally non-threatening when we first see him, except for the fact that his eyes are blank white holes, and as we move through the story, he becomes more and more horrid. Buckingham is excellent, and it's a pleasure to watch him bring Willingham's scripts to life. Here, he just needs to bring an old fairy tale to life, and he excels at that, too.

Since Fables Vol. 13: The Great Fables Crossover came out in February, I imagine the Rose Red arc will appear in volume 14 (Fables, Book 14: Witches, due out in December) or most likely 15. I'm not up on the numbering.  Perhaps it will be a special volume.  I have a hard time keeping up, but you can explore more at the Vertigo website.  If anyone knows of a better site for parsing the series, please share.  I haven't found one over the years and thus have found volume collecting easier than anything else. 

And Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love is due out in August and Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland (Fables (Graphic Novels)) is slated for January 2011. The franchise is going strong, so fans can rejoice!

1 comment:

  1. The best place I know of is here http://www.clockworkstorybook.net/forum/ . Bill Willingham actually posts there as does the Illustrator.
    Here is the first page of issue 95 http://s3.amazonaws.com/data.tumblr.com/tumblr_l2f5q60icO1qbw7kqo1_1280.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=0RYTHV9YYQ4W5Q3HQMG2&Expires=1274288946&Signature=XSc5M5MlvmkLOpVUgrlQ5B79lSU%3D