"The Childe...More restless than the swallow in the skies..." -Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

Saturday, November 5, 2011

My Run for the 'Rose Red'

But first...

My thanks to prolific blogger Pillownaut for giving last week's post 'Humility' a nice influx of readers via social networking. Always nice when bloggers give one another a boost. 'Humility' is the second in what will hopefully be a series of pieces that combine original poetry and pictures of the cosmos. The first was 'Pilgrimage Vignette.'

Now for a fun review!

Fables: Rose Red (Vol. 15)Fables: Rose Red by Bill Willingham

Growing restless during the final days before National Novel Writing Month, I sought a diversion. And I found it, or rather her, reposing in a literary fortress that overlooks the town in which I reside. For many months, I have gazed longingly at Rose Red, ever since her Fables compilation appeared on the New Release shelf at my public library.

Breaking the spell of procrastination, I seized Ms. Red from yon stacks and carried her to the Circulation Desk. “No, Mrs. Librarian,” I said coolly, “I don’t need a printed due date slip. Kindly demagnetize Rose Red and I will be on my way.” Once back in my lair, I set to removing layer after layer of her
engrossing back story.

Richly illustrated and finely lettered, Rose Red was as entertaining as any graphic novel I’ve ever read…and not merely because Fables is a sexy universe. The coloring and composition were enchanting, especially in proverbial locales like the forest at night. Yet more importantly, over the course of some 200+ pages, the story kept me on edge.

Alas, our weekend together was not perfect. Rose Red’s participation in the larger storyline proved anti-climactic. That doesn’t mean the story was weak or underdeveloped, just her portion of it. Red, who first appeared on the scene burnt out, soon got her act together. But then a different impossibly beautiful heroine took center stage for the grand duel with evil.

Again, I’m not complaining about the larger storyline. It was a fantastic mix of gritty contemporary motifs and traditional fairytale magic. In short, it was Fables at its best. But, as I contemplate releasing Ms. Red from my vile clutches to retake her rightful place in the library stacks, I do wish her creators had made her central to the story’s magical showdown. Nevertheless, if you’ve read and relished previous Fables installments, don’t miss this one.

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