Familiar Friends

What are some of your fondest memories from being read to as a child? What if you found out recently they have experienced a re-imagining and grown in a way that would make them relevant as ever? Would it interest you?

In the early 2000s DC Comics introduced a title that incorporated everyone’s favorite childhood nursery rhymes, folklore and mythological figures into a book called Fables.

The abundance of these figures existing in the public domain give the writer, Bill Willingham, not only a bevy of properties to choose from but also the freedom to use them as he likes.

His takes involve building off of the literary histories of those involved and giving them a modern twist. One interesting usage is the way he has taken all of the “Jack” properties, Sprat, Frost, Horner, etc…and folded them into one figure who has quite an exciting history. Here’s a list of every character to appear in the series. 

Fables

The premise is simple; having escaped from a place outside of reality known as the Homelands by an evil “adversary” many of your favorite make-believe friends are now on the run and living hidden away in New York City.

Over the run of the comic, they have fought to maintain their cover, ultimately won back control of their homelands and now are in a bigger conflict with a villain named Mister Dark, which is a modern interpretation of the boogeyman.

The book serves a bigger purpose than simply telling a story, amalgamating the traditional literary worlds and characters with an interpretation of modern life to give you a unique prism to view the world through. It just so happens you given a great story along with it.

As I’ve grown I have become more socially and politically aware of the world around me. This series loosely deals in adult themes such as alienation, the definition of home (as Willingham is very much pro-Israel, and explores the idea early on with the Fables relocation from their Homelands to New York and a setting that may not be too welcoming to them) and ethical dilemmas.

With 115 single issues collected in 16 graphic novels the series is building quite a novel history itself.

Here is a link to a free download of the first issue. 

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