Thanks for tuning back in for our Graphic Content book club. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover in Fables Vol. 3 Storybook Love, so let’s get started. As with all Graphic Content entries, there will be SPOILERS for those of you who haven’t read the book.
Sometimes you get a TPB and it has some one-shots and shorter stories. This is the case with Fables Vol. 3 Storybook Love. This volume is “book-ended” by a couple of one-shots, the first follows Jack in a flashback as he heads to the South to aid in the American Civil War. We see the extent of Jack’s bamboozle skills. He’s a sweet talker and he’s always scheming. At the end of the book, Bigby tells us a cute little story about the Barleycorn Brides.
The main part of the story focuses on a journalist who’s been digging up dirt on the Fable community. He convinced that they’re all vampires, and he approaches Bigby to get a quote for the story. Even though he’s wrong, a few Fables meet to discuss their options. Bluebeard wants blood, but Bigby has a plan. For those of you who haven’t read it, I won’t reveal too many details, but it involves Briar Rose, her sleeping enchantment, and some career-ending pictures.
The second half of the book deals with the return of Goldilocks. She’s out to finish the job she started at the Farm and a little enchantment from Bluebeard promises to seal the deal. One of my favorite things about Fables is that Willingham does a great job of fleshing out characters, their back stories, and their motivations. This book does a wonderful job of developing Bluebeard, Bigby, and Prince Charming.
So, onto the questions:
How do you think Fables Vol. 3 Storybook Love compared to the previous Fables trade paperbacks?
EF: I wasn’t as enthralled by this installment–in part, because it felt disjointed, thanks to all the “extra” tales. It didn’t feel like an engrossing, carefully crafted story, like the previous two did. Still, it had a lot of good moments, and the artwork was great, as usual.
JC: I actually liked it more than previous books. We got some one-shots that didn’t deserve full arcs and sending Bigby and White off to the Great Northwest was a good device to further their relationship. I also really loved seeing the Big Bad Wolf come out again and seeing him huff and puff. The bit with Goldilocks chasing around a mouse was classic!
In this installment, we got a much closer look at Bluebeard. Is he a bad guy, or just misguided? Were you disappointed when Prince Charming killed him?
EF: Bluebeard seemed like a guy who was wholly motivated by his own insecurities and cowardice. He tried to puff himself up with his wealth and his bluster, but he was easily cut down by Bigby and Prince Charming. I almost ended up feeling bad for him, except his own issues led him to help Goldilocks escape, and he seems to turn her on Bigby and Snow just because he felt emasculated by them. I was shocked when he was killed, but again, I had that cringing-almost-sympathetic-but-mostly-contemptuous reaction when he started begging for his life.
JC: Don’t forget greed. Bluebeard is also greedy, not only for money, but power as well. I wasn’t disappointed when Charming ran him through. I like the direction this book took us.
Bigby’s declaration of love to Snow: creepy, or romantic? Also, how do you feel about the fact that they slept together while under the influence of an enchantment?
EF: Kind of romantic, kind of creepy. I really don’t like it when the woman is telling the man that she’s not interested, but he and others “know” that she “really” is. It’s kind of disrespectful. Add that to the fact that she got knocked up without her knowledge and consent, and this is a “storybook love” that’s hard for me to swallow. It felt rushed and contrived.
JC: I don’t think it was creepy at all. We’re talking about an animal who became a man. He’s got heightened senses that he has to manage 24/7, so I though his declaration was heartfelt and actually pretty sweet (seen from his perspective). I see Elisabeth’s point about Bigby telling Snow that, but she did end up implying that she wanted him to ask her out on a date a few pages later…
Prince Charming is also a more prominent character in Fables Vol. 3 Storybook Love. What do you think of his manipulative ways? Is he a credible threat to the power structure of Fabletown?
EF: I enjoy the character of Prince Charming, but I think he’s a total scumbag. At least he owns it, in some respect, but the way he totally bowled over Briar Rose had my skin crawling. At the end of the day, I think if he somehow got the power, he wouldn’t be able to handle it. He’s good at the chase, not the day-to-day work that would actually keep him in power.
JC: Total sleazeball. His character is still pretty enjoyable to read about, though. He knows his faults, acknowledges them, and makes no apologies. You kinda gotta admire that quality. If he were to obtain power, I don’t think he’d go all dictator on the community, it doesn’t seem in his nature. I could be wrong about that, though. I guess I’ll just have to keep reading.
So, what did you all think of Fables Vol. 3 Storybook Love? Join the conversation and we’ll send you a gift certificate or coupon code for extra savings!