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Graphic Novel Review

Book Cover

Jack of Fables
Volume 5 - Turning Pages


Authors: Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges
Artists: Ross Braun and Tony Akins
Titan Books
RRP: £9.99, US $14.99
ISBN: 978 1 84856 182 3
Available 29 May 2009

Jack of Fables has been around for a mighty long time, and he'll talk your ear off about his adventures if you give him half a chance. One particular episode, however, he probably won't mention. It happened back in the momentous year of 1883, and involved guns, posses, and a tangle with one Bigby Wolf. Luckily the whole story is now available here, in glorious full colour, with none of the bloody or salacious details omitted. What could be better? Well, how about some in-depth history on the hottest trio of librarians since Cleopatra got a summer job in Alexandria - not to mention the possible destruction of the entire Fable race...?

Turning Pages is the fifth volume in the Jack of Fables graphic novel series, which were originally published in comic book form as issues #22 to 27.

From the pages of Fables, the hugely imaginative story of a group of fairy tale folk exiled from their mythical homelands and forced into a secret existence in modern-day America, comes the tale of Jack of the Beanstalk fame. In this brand-new collection, the spotlight falls on the Page sisters, co-custodians of Jack's former prison, the Golden Boughs Retirement Community. Robin, Priscilla and Hilary Page's lives have been forever changed by Jack - and unless he can save the day, at least one of those lives will shortly be at an end...

But before that tale unfolds, we are introduced to Bigby (of Big Bad Wolf fame) the sheriff of Fabletown who treks off into the Mundy world to track down Jack, the leader of the Jack Candle Gang. This is a retrospective tale set back in the late 19th century.

For some unfathomable reason each issue of the comic ends with a page dedicated to the thoughts of a miniature blue ox. I might be missing something here, but I didn't understand what this was all about, nor did I find it even remotely amusing - it reeked of filler material more than anything.

If you ignore those pages, then you'll find this to be up to Bill Willingham's usual high standard. For those who've been following the series this is an essential purchase.


Darren Rea

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