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Bookmarks: Not your average fairytale

9 March 2014 By Laura Antonucci, Columnist No Comments

The “Fables” series is a series of graphic novels by Bill Willingham that tell the stories of the day-to-day life of the characters of the most famous fairy tales. There are quite a few issues, with a growing number of spinoffs. “Fables” is a product of Vertigo Comics, and has a unique method of storytelling. “Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall” is no exception.

“1001 Nights of Snowfall” is a twist on the original telling of “Arabian Nights.” Much like the rest of the “Fables” series, this offshoot tells the back stories, and the occasional side story, of the immortal characters of the fairytales we all grew up with, and giving a realistic aspect to the stories that have been retold by Disney. However, if you are looking for a graphic novel that is going to be fun, cute and have a happy ending, I would recommend looking elsewhere. The “Fables” series take the unique approach of treating fairy tale legends – Snow White, Prince Charming, the Big Bad Wolf, etc. – as real people doing their best to simply survive after being driven out of their fairy tale homeland.

Out of the 12 stories told, only one has an outright happy ending. A few have ambiguous endings that connect to the main “Fables” series, and the rest are downright depressing. Does that mean you should skip this over completely? Hell no. Bill Willingham rewrites the famous tales spectacularly, and manages to connect the dots between several famous tales.

While one person may have written the stories, each story was illustrated by 11 different well-established graphic novel artists, some of whom have received awards for their work. Each story has its own aesthetic, and the different artists’ interpretations of the visuals accentuates the fairy tale itself. In short, “1001 Nights of Snowfall” is a visual masterpiece.

I think everyone should read graphic novels, regardless of what the subject matter is. However, the “Fables” series has been a personal favorite since I picked up the first issue at Barnes and Noble and began reading. Four hours later, I had read all of what Barnes and Noble had to offer, and was left with the side stories. I walked out, not with the main series, but with this. I definitely recommend getting your hands on it.

 


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