Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!
Today we look at the brilliant graphic novel that serves as a prelude to the Fables series as a whole, Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall, with a story by Bill Willingham and artwork by a host of classic artists, namely Charles Vess, Michael Kaluta, John Bolton, Mark Buckingham, James Jean, Mark Wheatley, Derek Kirk Kim, Tara McPherson, Esao Andrews, Brian Bolland and Jill Thompson.
Here is how awesome this comic is, Jill Thompson, Esao Andrews, Brian Bolland and Derek Kirk Kim are all great artists…and I’m not even going to bother showing you their artwork!! That’s how good this book is, you get enough greatness from the OTHER artists that it would just be overkill!!
The set-up of the issue is that Snow White is sent as an ambassador from Fabletown (the mystical city where all the various fairy tale characters live who had to escape from their fairy tale lands when an evil Emperor took over their original worlds) to gain help from a powerful Sultan. There she lives out the story of Scheherazade from the classic tale, One Thousand and One Nights, where she must tell a story to keep the Sultan entertained so that he will not kill her.
Vess and Kaluta drew the art for the framing sequence.
Snow White’s stories are all tales of the various cast members of Fables from BEFORE they ended up exiled in Fabletown. Stories from the “good ol’ days,” which, of course, were not really quite so good themselves.
The first tale is a murder mystery from early in the marriage of Prince Charming and Snow White, with artwork by John Bolton…
The Prince finds himself in a position where he wants to protect his subjects against the accusations of the dwarves, while still finding out who has been killing them – the case, naturally, takes a dramatic twist that brings things right to his own doorstep. Really well handled stuff by Willingham.
Mark Buckingham gets a very cute story about Reynard the fox. Buckingham really went all out on the art for this one!
Mark Wheatley handles the story of Bigby Wolf’s transformation from runt to, well, the big bad wolf…
Tara McPherson tell a tale of Snow White and Rose Red meeting a witch (Esao Andrews does the story within the story)…
The highlight of the volume is most likely James Jean’s story, where Willingham and Jean combine to tell the tale of the Frog Prince…
The lighthearted opening just makes the drama that follows all the more heartbreaking. Really just a wonderful twist on the old story.
Then you have the other stories, which I won’t bother telling you about – the point is, you get a lot of great stories by some of the best artists in the business. Why wouldn’t you want to read that?