Fables #36 Review

Reviewer: Andy Campbell
Story Title: Death & Taxes (chapter 1 of Homelands)

Written by: Bill Willingham
Penciled by: Mark Buckingham
Inked by: Steve Leialoha
Colored by: Daniel Vozzo
Lettered by: Todd Klein
Cover by: James Jean
Assistant Editor: Mariah Huehner
Editor: Shelly Bond
Publisher: Vertigo > DC Comics

Fables is the book I most look forward to every month. Those who complain that comics are too grim-n-gritty these days, and aren’t any fun anymore, need look no further than Fables. Month after month, Fables consistently delivers a fun story set in a world that I love visiting.

This month’s installment is the first in a new storyline, so it should be (fairly) accessible to new readers. That said, though, long-time readers will know and understand much quicker exactly what is going on. This issue sees Little Boy Blue begin his infiltration into the Homelands to find out what happened to his love, Red Riding Hood. His cunning and trickery, coupled with some sly use of certain magical artifacts, leads to some very entertaining scenes as Boy Blue gets deeper into enemy territory. To give much more away would be doing the story (and art) a great disservice.

Speaking of the art, the Buckingham/Leialoha combination remains one of my favourite in comics today, and it is a brilliant visualisation of Willingham’s script. Make no mistake, the world of Fables owes just as much to Mark Buckingham as it does to Bill Willingham; the “face” of the Fables world is undeniably Buckingham, and when another artist fills in, it just isn’t the same.

So, if you haven’t tried Fables yet, I would highly recommend that you pick it up. However, you might want to grab the previous trades so you can get your bearings a bit before diving in to this current storyline.