Sunday, October 12, 2014
Fables: Snow White
Publisher/Year: Vertigo, 2013
Artist: Mark Buckingham, Shawn McManus
Writer: Bill Willingham
Collects: Fables #114-129
Bill Willingham gives us another installment of his nigh-legendary series in Fables, Vol. 19. Before this trade paperback continues the story of the exiled “Fables” in Fabletown, NY, the first third of this edition features the collected back-up stories of Bufkin, the flying monkey with no wings and Lily, his miniature-sized girlfriend.
The collected back-up stories are illustrated by Shawn McManus. His slightly-cartoonish style works well for Bufkin’s revolution in Oz. Couple that with Willingham’s writing, and this self-contained story masterfully transitions from a revolutionary war against a tyrant, into an adventurous love story that follows the odd-couple of Bufkin and Lily until their beautiful end.
I found myself wanting to read more about the duo as their story came to a fitting conclusion. If this edition of Fables only contained this story, I would have been satisfied!
The second two-thirds returns us to the ongoing story of Fabletown. The “Snow White” story-arc finds Bigby (Big Bad Wolf) leaving town in a mystic car to try and find his and Snow White’s lost cubs. Snow White is not able to grieve for long, however, because a mysterious intruder in Castle Dark threatens to destroy her marriage to Bigby.
This story takes quite a bit of time to take off. After the emotional story of Bufkin and Lily, I found myself not caring too much about the lost children and mysterious interloper in Castle Dark.
But (and that’s a huge “but”), as series artist Mark Buckingham’s very grounded art style melds with Willingham’s tale, I found myself gripped with the struggle that was unfolding. I was sucked into the lives of the characters and I’m not sure when that happened. (I went back and looked too!)