Another new graphic novel series? I can assure you, it’s all true. For, y’know, extremely relative values of new that seem in fact to reflect things published years ago. My initiation into the format only occurred within the last couple of years, though, so running behind kind of goes with the territory. The Fables series got on my radar via Amazon recommendations, much as with Dorothy and for that matter Ex Machina. Of my recent new series, this is certainly the one I’m the most satisfied with.
The idea of storybook characters all jumbled together in New York, while obviously cool enough to take the risk on (since I did buy it), seemed potentially fraught with peril. Apparently, they all come from different worlds (which I will choose to call dimensions) that were one after another attacked by an Adversary (who is thusfar shrouded in mystery), and by the time they realized that there was true danger afoot, they had no remaining options but to flee from their worlds to this one, which the Adversary has no apparent interest in. Being the stuff of fables, they’re immortal, so while they all came from different storybook dimensions to start with, they’ve had several hundred years on earth as Legends in Exile to properly mingle and form interrelationships. The upshot of all that background being that the interactions were rich and often funny, with distaste, attraction, working relationships, and even unlikely friendships all laid bare. The book was equal parts Storybook Melrose Place and Fable Noir.
Which raises my other extreme like for the book. The mystery was, if moderately simple, plotted quite well and made good use of the setting. Bigby Wolf, the sheriff of Fabletown, is confronted with murder most foul when Jack reports that his girlfriend Rose Red is missing and her apartment covered in blood. Once Deputy Mayor Snow White, the victim’s sister, insists on including herself in the investigation and the rich and powerful Bluebeard is fingered as a potential suspect, all the trappings of a Humphrey Bogart noir are in place, and the only thing left to do is lean back and enjoy the ride. There are a lot of possibilities for the series, since the available characters cast such a wide net. I figure, if I get more volumes in the noir vein, well and good, and if not, the creators have already proven they have the chops to do good things with the premise, at least.
 Well, except for Sandman, which I’m prepared to call a special case.
 That name still gives me the giggles, even now.
 of “and the Beanstalk” fame
 whose surpassing loveliness is storied… er, whose fabled… Dammit. The point is, she’s a looker with legs that just wouldn’t quit and a smoldering fire in her eyes that told me she’d seen enough of the world to know that it wasn’t as pretty as the stories said it would be.