Rummanah Aasi
 If you are a fan of fractured fairy tales, you may enjoy reading the critically acclaimed Fables graphic novel series by Bill Willingham. The series centers on these questions: What if fairy tale characters existed in our world? And what if they had ways of not revealing themselves to us per their magic? Thus far most the fairy tale characters are from the Brothers Grimm and other European regions, but there are few from other regions of the world too. According to Goodreads, there are a total of 22 volumes of Fables and four spin off series.

Description: Ever since they were driven from their homelands by the Adversary, the non-human Fables have been living on the Farm—a vast property in upstate New York that keeps them hidden from the prying eyes of the mundane world. But now, after hundreds of years of isolation, the Farm is seething with revolution, fanned by the inflammatory rhetoric of Goldilocks and the Three Little Pigs. And when Snow White and her sister Rose Red stumble upon their plan to liberate the Homelands, the commissars of the Farm are ready to silence them—by any means necessary!

Review: What draws me to the Fables graphic novel series is how the fairy tales are restructured in a completely new and refreshing way. While the fairy tale characters do retain their famous characteristics, they are also completely three dimensional and deeply flawed.
  As you may recall an entity known only as the Adversary have forced out the fairy tale characters, known as Fables, out of their homes. Some of the fables who can pass off as humans are living in Fabletown, New York (clever city name, I know). In Animal Farm, Willingham manages to rewrite his characters into playing an homage to George Orwell's political allegory of the same name by focusing on the non-humans fables such as the Three Little Pigs, The Three Bears, and Shere Khan from the Jungle Book (though I wouldn't necessarily call him a fairy tale character per se), who were forced to live on the Farm so that they would not cause suspicion to the ordinary humans. The non-human fables are unhappy on the farm and fed up with being deemed as secondary class citizens by their more "human looking" counterparts. They have organized a revolution to take back their land from the Adversary and to rule both Fabletown and the Farm. 
  I really enjoyed watching how the furor for the revolution at the Farm grow especially with the involvement unsuspecting key players like Goldilocks and the Three Little Pigs. I also  were leading the revolution, which put an insane spin on our favorite fairy tale characters. I also loved how Willingham did a great job at portraying the tumultuous relationship between siblings Rose Red and Snow White. Though they are iconic characters, their fraught relationship felt human and relateable as one sister tries to become closer and the other sister feels nothing but contempt.  
  The artwork in Animal Farm is also very visually appealing. The illustrations of the characters are life-like and convey the emotions written in the text. The coloring was also skillfully done, evoking the dark atmosphere and tone of the story. I hope that the series will add some diversity as it progresses and I look forward to reading more from this series. I would recommend this graphic novel series if you are interested in fairy tales. 

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language and strong violence/gore in this volume. Recommended for Grades 9 and up.

If you like this book try: Fables, Vol. 3: Storybook Love (Fables, #3) by Bill Willingham, Peter and Max by Bill Willingham, Fairest by Bill Willingham
3 Responses
  1. Kindlemom Says:

    This does sound like it would be a fun read. Great review!

  2. Now this sounds interesting and different. I will have to look this one up.

  3. I first thought this was a retelling of "Animal Farm" which I hated reading growing up. However, this one sounds like fun and I do love fractured fairy tales, but then I'm strange like that. LOL I might have to recommend this one. I know the perfect person for it.

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