52 Books 2014: Week 24

Fables Vol. 1: Legends in Exile
Bill Willingham
(graphic novel, urban fantasy)

So, the entire reason I picked this up – in fact, the only reason I even HEARD of it – was because Mr. Wyrm bought the Telltale video game THE WOLF AMONG US. And we played it*. And we loved it. So I wanted to look into the world of the game, and got this book (and a couple others) out of the library.

I enjoyed this book. It collects the first story arc in the Fables comic series into one volume, so there are certainly things going on that don’t get tied up in this book, though the main plot of the first five comic books does get resolved. It was a good way for me to learn more about the world, which was exactly what I wanted. However, I have to remember that the game is set *before* the comics, time-wise, yet was written significantly *after* they were. So there are bound to be things that don’t quite mesh. Some of the personalities are different between the two – and maybe there are explanations for that that I don’t know yet.

The tone is also slightly different between the game and the book. However, I think part of that is because in one, you are an outside observer watching the action unfold, and in the other you are the focus of the action, and controlling what happens. It does really work well, though, and has the same general feel (gritty, noir storytelling). The book and the game pair really well together.

I would certainly recommend this book to fans of the genre, or the game. I haven’t decided yet if I want to continue reading the Fables comics, but I’m glad I picked up this volume. My main reason for indecision is the indecision I have with most comics: the storyline generally keeps going and going with little discernible story arc ending. I’m kinda surprised that this one ended as neatly as it did. It makes me think that the rest of the series might also do the same thing, which I would appreciate. We’ll see.

* Note: in this case “we played it” means he played it while I watched and gave my input on dialogue choices. I enjoy when we do this, as it means I can still knit while getting the same kind of feeling as when I play games myself. Granted, this doesn’t work with all games, but it does with some. The true RPG games I prefer to play for myself. But adventure games work well like this, as do some other styles – shooters, platformers – which I’m not good enough at to enjoy playing nearly as much as I enjoy watching them. (I do also play adventure games myself, because I like them. Not so much with shooters or platformers.)

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