Sunday, August 15, 2010

From Fabletown With Love

From Fabletown With Love is a collection of a 6 issue standalone Fables related series starting Cinderella. It's the first Fables related project I've seen where the writing duties have not been handled by Bill Willingham. Novelist Chris Roberson handles the words in this one. I think it may have been his pet project. The pencils are provided by Fables regular guest artist Shawn McManus.

As indicated by the title Cinderella of glass slipper, Fairy Godmother, pumpkin coach fame, is Fabletown's version of James Bond. Cindy has been a secret agent for over 200 years, she was initiated by Fabletown's long term sheriff Bigby Wolf. As you can imagine with a couple of centuries to hone your skils you can get pretty good at something.

Cindy's espionage activities are not known to the Fables at large, only a select few are aware of what she does when she's not in Fabletown, the rest think she's a gadabout, shoe shop proprietress. The shop is amusingly enough called The Glass Slipper. During it's owner's frequent absences the shop is managed by the much put upon Crispin Cordwainer.

The current sheriff Beast (yes the same one that married Beauty) gives the missions out to Cindy and the community's most proficient and dangerous magic user Frau Totenkinder (remember all those wicked witches in the stories? Hansel & Gretel, etc.... that's Frau Totenkinder) provides Cindy with some sort of magical gadgetry, kind of like an old female version of Q, with knitting.

The mission detailed in this series takes Cinderella to the Arabian Nights homeland, where she's paired up with Ala Al-Din, or as we know him, Aladdin. The two are trying to find a cartel that is selling magical artefacts to Mundy's in exchange for high powered automatic weapons.

The story in the here and now is intercut with shorter episodes from Cindy's past, ranging from France in the early 19th century to East Germany in the 1960's.

There's also a side story in Fabletown involving Crispin's attempts to make a name for himself in the magical shoe industry by making a deal with elves. This has hilarious consequences when, as expected, the elves maliciously cheat the naive clerk.

It's a well written addition and a worthy one. If for whatever reason Willingham cannot write the book he's got a ready made replacement in Chris Roberson. It was a great story, very funny at times with plenty of pop culture references and while it also references other Fables books, events and characters it stands well enough on it's own for the reader not to have to have read the main book. There's also a well handled relationship between Aladdin and Cinderella.

This is one I'd advise anyone who has read Fables to get and enjoy.

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