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Fables: Legends in Exile (Vertigo) [Paperback]

Bill Willingham , Lan Medina , Steve Leialoha , Craig Hamilton
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

25 April 2003 Vertigo
WHO KILLED ROSE RED?- In Fabletown, where fairy tale legends live alongside regular New Yorkers, the question is all anyone can talk about. But only the Big Bad Wolf can actually solve the case - and, along with Rose's sister Snow White, keep the Fabletown community from coming apart at the seams. FABLES: LEGENDS IN EXILE collects the first five issues of writer and creator Bill Willingham's acclaimed new VERTIGO series (superbly illustrated by Lan Medina, Steve Leialoha, and Craig Hamilton), and includes a new FABLES short story written and illustrated by Willingham.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books Ltd (25 April 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840236140
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840236149
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 25.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 352,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"FABLES is a must-read for any aficionado of fantasy in a contemporary setting." - The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction "We hope this series lasts happily ever after." - WIZARD "Instantly compelling." - Cinescape.com "Looks as good as it reads." - Comics Buyer's Guide "Every fan should take a look." - The Fourth Rail

About the Author

Bill Willingham is a writer and artist whose work includes The Elementals, Coventry and The Sandman Presents: The Thessaliad. Lan Medina's work includes Aria and Wonder Woman. Steve Leialoha has been a professional illustrator for many years, and his work includes Nevada and the comics adaptation of The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mister Wolf on the case 3 Aug 2003
By Michael Finn TOP 1000 REVIEWER
This collects the first 5 issues of Bill Willingham's Fables comic. The run covers Bigby Wolf's investigation into the apparent killing of Rose Red in Fabletown - a community made up of refugees/exiles from the the lands of myth and fable. On paper the idea surely can't work but somehow it does by using characters that are imprinted on most children's consciousness from an early age. This is adult fare though even taking into account real fables propensity for the bloody and the macabre. It all fits together cleverly with a strange kind of natural symmetry. I n execution the comic walks the same paths of style as say Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen even down to the prose fairytale prequelling events at the back of the book, written and illustrated by Willingham. As with Moore's League it's all very much tongue in cheek. Bigby wolf is a good character noiring his way through the mystery complete with parlour denouement. Entertaining and well executed with some pretty neat art.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fables in hiding 24 Mar 2010
Imagine if all the legendary story characters were living secretly in New York -- and they weren't quite fairy tale material?

In short, Prince Charming is a thrice-divorced lech, the Big Bad Wolf is now a werewolf cop, Snow White is an embittered government manager, and some very peculiar other residents crashing in a modern city. "Fables Volume 1: Legends in Exile" does an excellent job smoothly introducing the world of Bill Willingham's series, even as he spins up a pretty solid little murder mystery.

The daily business of the hard-nosed Snow White (a Fable government official whom everyone comes to with complaints) is interrupted when Bigby Wolf brings her some ghastly news: her estranged, wild-child sister Rose Red has been murdered, and there's no sign of her except for buckets of blood all over her apartment. The most obvious suspect is Jack, whom Snow White helps interrogate when she isn't dealing with her womanizing, impoverished aristocrat ex, Prince Charming.

But some of the details about Rose Red's death don't add up -- and as Bigby investigates further into the people who knew her well, he begins finding aspects of her life hidden from everybody. Not to mention an irate fiancee who wants revenge on Jack. As the Remembrance Day approaches, Bigby puts together the clues to a very bizarre case where not everything is what it seems -- and not everyone is doing what they claim.

Bill Willingham is an expert in taking beloved characters from legends, fairy tales and nursery rhymes... and then turning our perceptions of them on their heads (example: Beast and Beauty's marital troubles cause his curse to reassert itself).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good way of using fairy tales. 31 Jan 2004
I was fascinated when I first learned of the fact that most of the best-loved fairy tales had been rewritten so as not to shock the parents. This book brings back the edge and violence to those old stories, The Big Bad Wolf as the detective on a murder scene, Prince Charming as a sleazy opportunist. It's so refreshing to see the life and vigour once hidden behind the cuteness.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Once upon a time... 18 Jan 2014
Rose Red is dead - who killed her? It's up to Bigby Wolf, Fabletown's gumshoe, to track down the killer.

What I really like about the first volume of Fables is that it doesn't read like a first volume of a multi-volume series - it reads like a standalone book. I'm sure Rose Red plays a big part later on but this book is concerned more with the done-in-one murder mystery than it is in explicitly detailing to the reader all about the world of the series, etc.

The genius of this approach is that Bill Willingham introduces the cast of the series, gives us their characters and their situations within the self-contained story, so it manages to do everything a first volume should while also presenting itself as a standalone book, meaning everyone from casual readers looking for a good story to those who're in for the long haul can get something out of this first volume.

I'm not usually one for crime dramas/police procedurals, and the reveal at the end isn't at all original, but the story in this first volume is an entertaining whodunit thanks to its colourful cast. Our grizzled (and he is grizzled!) detective is Bigby Wolf (aka the Big Bad Wolf) who, along with Snow White, Deputy Mayor of Fablestown and sister of Rose Red, sets out to bring Rose's killer to justice.

Rather than meeting a series of nondescript characters during the investigation, you're introduced to someone you'll remember from your childhood in each scene - it's Beauty and the Beast! Is that... Bluebeard? Jack - like Jack and the Beanstalk? Willingham's taken their character and twisted it just so, so that they're familiar but new at the same time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The characters from the fairy tales that we all know and love have been driven out of their fantasy world by a sinister unknown enemy. Unable to return to their homes, they are now living in modern day New York City where they try to blend in under the watchful eye of Snow White. Problems arise when Snow White's sister, Rose Red, goes missing and her aparetment is found covered in blood. While she works with Bigby Wolf to solve the mystery, Prince Charming is attempting to raffle off his kingdom in the old world to raise some much needed money, and evertyhing comes to a head at the traditional Remembrance Day ball.

This is a cleverly written book because, while it has a plot that is neatly tied up at the end, it also provides only tantalising hints into the wider story which surrounds the fairy tale characters. I want to know what exactly happened to their world which made them flee to ours, and how that is going to develop. I want to know more about the characters and their somewhat strained existence rubbing shoulders with ordinary humans. I want to find out more about their traditions and cultures and how their fary stories continue to be played out in the real world. In other words, it provided the perfect amount of story to engage and satisfy me if I only ever read Legends in Exile, but at the same time it guarantees that I'm going to want to carry on and read more of the series because I'm so fascinated with the world.

The concept is interesting (if a bit self-consciously silly at times) and it's much grittier than I had expected from a fairy tale adapt ation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Absolutely brilliant! I'm not usually into comic books, but I was convinced and it's the best thing I've read in a while, will definitely be buying the rest!
Published 12 days ago by Sara
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent
This story is an absolute must for all lovers of fairy tales. Clever, witty, and true to the original characters it is captivating from the very start. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Matt
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
Amazing, a must read for all comic book fans. Once you finish it, you'll be reading volume 2, that's a promise!
Published 2 months ago by Arun
4.0 out of 5 stars Well illustrated good story
Well illustrated a different way to read a book on your Kindle with pictures and word in a comic book formart
Published 3 months ago by Lee2
4.0 out of 5 stars Fairytales do come true
Graphics could have been better but story is great! Refreshing take on classic fairytales.
I started reading as i have played "the wolf among us" game which is based on these... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sandie Dawson
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I hesitate to give this five stars because such a rating should only be given to something that is near perfect but that should give people no doubt that this is a fantastic... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Fables vol 1
I decided to start reading these graphic novels after playing "the wolf among us" an online game based on these graphic novels. Read more
Published 4 months ago by katie
5.0 out of 5 stars Great comic
Got this after playing the first episode of the new game on Xbox and I'm really glad I found this coming. Fantastic world and interesting characters!! Highly recommend it.
Published 5 months ago by Simon Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars awsome
excellent comic book looking forward to reading the others in the same comic book format the series is very compelling
Published 5 months ago by michael foster
4.0 out of 5 stars Thumbs Up!
The creatures from stories, fairy tales in particular, have fled an invader of their homelands and arrived in New York City. Read more
Published 6 months ago by 365 Graphic Novels
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