31 Days of comics, day 9

Well I feel like we’re storming through this now, it might be the fact that my life seems to fly by recently (I’m told this happens once you hit 20, and seems to get worse each year) but I’m going to put it down to the fact that I’m genuinely having such a blast going through the list.  Today’s challenge, a comic that blew my mind, was between two series.  I’ve been thinking on it since I finished my first review post yesterday, and we have a winner.  A narrow one, mind you, but I got there.  Initially I was going to go for the Geoff Johns lead Green Lantern, very specifically the Blackest Night storyline which I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish.  The only problem with naming this in today’s category is my friend, let’s call him Matt since that’s his name, had been going on for a little while about how much I needed to pick this series up, so going into it I head fairly high expectations.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for the encouragement since there’s a chance I still wouldn’t have gotten round to starting it yet, but going into something with high expectations and an idea of what was coming significantly reduces the chances of mind blowage.  This is what won:

A comic that totally blew your mind

Fables by Bill WillinghamVertigo Comics

For a series that had been around since 2002 I sure managed to stay completely ignorant of this until late last year.  I honeslty only took a look because there was hype swirling around a game called The Wolf Among Us, one of those TellTale episode games.  I never liked their Walking Dead game, though I’m not a huge fan of the comics or TV show either, but I thought the premise looked fairly interesting.  I gave the game a quick go, and it was pretty good fun to be fair, but the characters were what drove the story.  Since I had remained ignorant of the lead up to the release of the game too, I had no idea how close the game had been modelled on the books, but being fairly inquisitive and looking for something a bit different to read, I picked up the first trade paperback.

Well holy crap, to say the first trade blew my mind is seriously the understatement of the year.  An unbelievably clever, well written and sometimes very humourous book, it has rocketed right to the top of my favourite books.  And now, thanks to this, Bill Willingham is well and truly on my radar, his characters are loving crafted, the world he has built and rules this world plays by are some of the most unique and intelligent I’ve seen in any work of fiction.  I really don’t think I can big Willingham up enough for his achievements here.

The art that goes along with Willingham’s stories is truly beautiful, it has quite a soft, understated look about it.  It also feels quite pulpy, maybe due to the paper it’s printed on (I suspect that’s as much of an artist decision as the art style itself) but whatever it is it’s a wonderful book to sit through.  What I find I do with each book I’ve read so far, is read through as I normally would, and once finished I’ll skim back through it a second time just so I can fully appreciate the art.

It’s one of those books that once I’d read the first volume, that was all I was thinking about, it was all I was talking about and as soon as I knew I had a bit of money to spare that month, I went and bought volume 2 and 3.  It had such a massive effect on me, all from a book that I speculatively picked up because of a brief go on the video game prequel.  Bigby Wolf and Snow are two adored comic book characters in my little world of fandom now and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

I tell you, I honestly love this series so much that since I started the blog back up and decided to take on this challenge I’ve been desperately hoping this series would fit into a category so I could talk about it.  in case there’s anyone that hasn’t read this series yet, I’m going to keep this totally spoiler free.  just go check it out, for your own sake, you’re honestly, seriously missing out if you haven’t read any yet.  Fairy tale characters have never looked this good.  Forget Disney’s take on them, forget Grimm and forget Once Upon a Time, go read Fables.  Right now, go on, we’re done here so you can go buy it and read it.

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