Fables (7): Arabian Nights (and Days) – Bill Willingham

Fables 07Having spent six volumes exploring Western folklore we now see an encounter with the legends and stories of the East. Unfortunately the only character we meet is Sinbad so an opportunity to learn from many of the planet’s most ancient cultures is lost.

It is well written, dramatic and enjoyable. It feels authentic and respectful. It also moves Fables from covertly political to overtly political. The commentary on today’s Western involvement in the Middle East is a distinctly unsubtle affair. No matter how delicate and sophisticated the intention was the end result is the brown people were bad and the white people won in the end. A definite missed opportunity. Hopefully more storylines will follow.

There is also a single part story concerning the wooden soldiers. This is an unusual and charming affair. You know there will be a twist or rug-pull at the end but it won’t be what you are expecting and it integrates nicely into the bigger picture.

The art is mostly more of the same. Enjoyable, regulated and familiar but with ubiquitous fancy borders and the odd creative montage. The single issue piece has a different artist and a very different look. There is a flat, two-dimensional feel to it, with artificial looking colours. This is a perfect metaphor for the constructed beings it deals with.

Enjoyable enough for a Thumbs Up!


Tomorrow: Fables (8): Wolves – Bill Willingham

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