Friday 9 August 2013

Fables Volume 2: Animal Farm by Bill Willingham

Fables is a graphic novel series in which a host of fairy-tale characters and mythological creatures have been forced to flee their home lands because of the mysterious Adversary.  They have settled in New York, where they live parallel lives to our own, hiding their powers and gifts.  In the first volume, we met Snow White and followed her journey to find out what had happened to her sister, Rose Red.  In this second volume, Snow and Rose have journeyed to the Farm, home to all of the creatures that can not be hidden in every-day life (think giants and talking animals).  Snow is there on routine business but it soon becomes apparent that not everything is as it should be on the Farm and a violent revolution is brewing, led by the pigs.

I liked Volume One of the Fables series, it didn't set my world alight but I liked it enough to pick up this second volume whilst I was in the library.  I'm a big fan of Orwell's Animal Farm, so I was interested to see how Willingham would pay homage to the novel in his story.   Of course, there's no Russian Revolution in the Fables version, but there are striking parallel's to Orwell's original, including the leadership/ double dealing of the pigs.  I actually felt a bit sorry for the creatures forced to live on the Farm; their every wish was catered for by the human fairytale characters but they could never leave, even though their lives are practically immortal.

On the whole, I felt that Animal Farm was stronger than the previous installment, Legends in Exile.  There wasn't as much need for world-building, leaving more room for plot and adventure.  I like how we're starting to see some moral ambiguity in the series, and how there are splits in the Fabletown community.  I'm looking forward to picking up the next volume soon.

Source: Library
First Published: 2003
Score: 3.5 out of 5


  1. It really takes off after Animal Farm. I really enjoyed this volume, too, and I REALLY need to read the ACTUAL Animal Farm. I've never read any Orwell. Horrible of me!

  2. I agree with Andi that it gets much more fun in the third volume and beyond. The more serialized plots start kicking into high gear, which is always fun, and you get to see more of the characters showing different sides of themselves.

  3. This sounds like so much fun. I should check my library pronto and see if they have it!

  4. I'll have to see if my library has this series, I think I'd like it.