Fables: Animal Farm
by Bill Willingham,
Mark Buckingham
(DC/Vertigo, 2003)

For the second volume of Bill Willingham's excellent Fables series, Snow White and her estranged sister, the disgraced Rose Red, head to upstate New York to visit the Animal Farm, home to the majority of Fabletown's nonhuman residents. But the sisters interrupt a town meeting of revolutionary proportions; the talking animals and fantastic creatures who live on the farm are tired of being restricted from moving freely among humans -- and they want to retake their stolen homelands, too.

Leading the rebellion are two of the three (once) little pigs and Goldilocks, a radical with an obsession for politics and beastiality. (Note: She still lives with the three bears, after all.) But sisters' arrival sparks immediage action, and Rose -- who seems to know an opportunity when she sees one -- switches sides. That leaves Snow, with the help of a randy Reynard the Fox, to run for the hills and the questionable help of Weyland Smith, while the deadlier characters from Jungle Book and other stories follow hot on her trail.

Once again, Willingham demonstrates why Fables is one of the hottest new titles on the block. The characters, while very different from those we remember from our childhood, fit well within the confines of logical character development. And the stories are deucedly clever and gripping to boot.

Let's hope Willingham doesn't run out of ideas for a very long, long time. Fables is already a classic.

- Rambles
written by Tom Knapp
published 10 October 2003

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