Fairest Vol. 2: Hidden Kingdom, by Lauren Beukes, Bill Willingham


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Fairest Vol. 2: Hidden Kingdom, by Lauren Beukes, Bill Willingham

Fairest Vol. 2: Hidden Kingdom, by Lauren Beukes, Bill Willingham

Fairest Vol. 2: Hidden Kingdom, by Lauren Beukes, Bill Willingham

PDF Download Fairest Vol. 2: Hidden Kingdom, by Lauren Beukes, Bill Willingham

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Fairest Vol. 2: Hidden Kingdom, by Lauren Beukes, Bill Willingham

New York Times bestselling, award-winning creator Bill Willingham presents a new series starring the female FABLES. Balancing horror, humor and adventure in the FABLES tradition, FAIREST explores the secret histories of Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Cinderella, The Snow Queen, Thumbelina, Snow White, Rose Red and others.

In a stand-alone tale, Beast must hunt a beauty, but what is her relation to his past? And then, in a 6-part epic, Rapunzel lives one of the most regimented lives in Fabletown, forced to maintain her rapidly growing hair lest her storybook origins be revealed. But when word of her long-lost children surface, she races across the sea to find them–and a former lover.

  • Sales Rank: #539964 in Books
  • Brand: DC Comics
  • Published on: 2013-07-30
  • Released on: 2013-07-30
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 10.17″ h x .40″ w x 6.63″ l, .61 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 160 pages

Review
“By the time I put the book down I was already anticipating the further adventures of the Fairest fables. Willingham’s love for these characters is a abundantly clear and palpable on every page.”—boingboing.com

“This is a different, more fantastical take on the characters of the Fable setting, with little to no interactions with the modern world, instead a more imaginative approach to recreating the fantasy at the heart of the tales that inspired the setting. Jimenez’s detailed art is fittingly gorgeous and gives the magic all the grandeur it deserves.—Publishers Weekly

Praise for Bill Willingham’s Fables:

“Wonderful.”—LA City Beat

“The best comic book currently being produced”—IGN

About the Author
Bill Willingham has been writing, and sometimes drawing, comics for more than twenty years.  During that time he’s had work published by nearly every comics publisher in the business and he’s written many critically-acclaimed comic book series, including Elementals, FABLES, JACK OF FABLES, ROBIN, SHADOWPACT and SALVATION RUN.  A multiple winner of the Eisner Award, Willingham has also been nominated for the International Horror Guild award.  Bill lives somewhere near a good poker room.

Most helpful customer reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful.
Though (mostly) not authored by Willingham, this is very good.
By Mark Treitel
If you’re reading “Fairest” then you are already a Willingham fan. Fables (and even (most of) Jack of Fables belongs in your “you can read this book year after year.” At first, I was wary of any “Fables” book that wasn’t written by Willingham, as I was not a huge fan of the Cinderella spin-offs. However, I was very impressed with the Lauren Beukes story and the artwork. The story, with five issues, had enough time to delve into the Japanese canon of fairy tales, and in the same way that Willingham created a universe of Anglo fairy tales, Beukes touched upon the Japanese fable universe. This book is definitely not for little kids, with it’s horror and sexual relations, but as an adult book, it was worked. I liked that the story (like Willingham’s) was not totally linear and that for the first time we learned about Rapunzel and that the story used her “powers” in ways that weren’t obvious.

I don’t like spoilers in reviews, so this book, if you already are a Fables fan, is definitely worth reading, and likely re-reading. There is enough set-up for another Rapunzel story. And if you need to have your Willingham stories, there’s a stand-alone Reynard the Fox story that, like Reynard, is delightfully clever.

I patiently wait for Vol. 3.

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful.
A Real Beginning for the Series!
By Hapax Legomenon
I really enjoyed Volume 1 of Fairest when it was released; however, I never got the feeling while reading it that it was a series unto itself. It seemed more like a very long backup issue for the Fables series proper, and I was afraid that it would set a status quo for this new title, which would have been a shame because I was really looking forward to a spin-off that would explore the lives and stories of some of Fables’ lesser-utilized characters. Luckily, Fairest Volume 2: Hidden Kingdom assuaged that fear.

This collection of issues #8-14 presents a very fun and captivating read, reminiscent of all the things that make Fables great, with enough differences to prove that Fairest can hold its own as a separate series. The characterization of Rapunzel, who has not received nearly enough exposure in the main series, is fantastic. She has a personality all her own, her back story and “powers” are explored in a unique and interesting way, and the relationship dynamic between her and Frau Totenkinder (whom I have greatly missed in recent Fables issues) is well worth the read.

The story is set back before the beginning of the Fables series and takes place mostly in Tokyo, so it is both temporally and physically displaced enough from its parent series to keep the story fresh and avoid too much reliance upon it. The inclusion of Japanese myths and folklore was really a welcome addition as well; it’s nice to see some diversity creeping into this series, as that is something which is sometimes lacking in Fables. Again, that is the true gem here: Fairest really establishes itself in this volume as an opportunity to explore Fables-like stories without the baggage of the 120 or so issues worth of material Fables has accumulated.

The art for this volume, as with the last, is absolutely beautiful. It’s very dynamic and has a more action-oriented vibe than the usual (yet still fantastic) storybook style art employed by Mark Buckingham in Fables. The pacing of the art and the layouts are engaging and eye-catching.

There are some issues, of course, most of which are my own personal qualms. The narration device that is used at times is a bit forced and cliche, and really doesn’t add much to the narrative. It doesn’t distract the reader too much, but it does slightly diminish the otherwise solid writing. Also, the ending of the story negates some of the gravitas of the preceding events and seems like it was shoe-horned in to allow it to mesh better with Fables continuity (which, as I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, is pet peeve of mine). These couple of problems really put the book somewhere closer to 3.5 stars for me personally, but if I’m being objective, I really do have to round that up.

The final issue, #14, is not part of the main storyline, which concludes in #13. It’s a solid issue, written by series creator and Fables vunderkind Bill Willingham, involving Reynard the fox and the dryad Princess Alder. It’s humorous and charming, and ends with a hint of things to come in the future of the Fables universe. This issue, predictably, does feel like a backup story for Fables, but as it is merely an interlude between Hidden Kingdom and the next major Fairest arc, I have no objections, especially since I have a particular soft-spot for Reynard.

Overall, an entertaining read and a great way to start this series off as a more independent entity than Volume 1 threatened. I like the idea of a new writer and artist coming on for each story arc and can’t wait to see who the next team will be or which character they’ll set their sights on.

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful.
Rapunzel & Japanese myths
By Frank L. Greenagel Jr.
There was a recent article (8/10/2013) by Mypeabody on the Observation Deck titled “Mark Millar & Todd McFarlane: Ladies, Comics Are Not For You.” While I don’t agree with some of what was written, the author argues the point that women read comics and that there are a few strong female characters (she partly blames the dearth of strong female leads on “chauvenistic” writers like Millar). For readers looking for strong female characters, Fairest is a title that delivers.

This volume is not as good as volume 1, but it is still solid. I’d give this 3.5 stars, but I rounded up because I’m a fan of the Fables line. Despite having Bill Willingham’s name on the cover, he only consulted on the story. It was written by Lauren Beukes — she does a decent job, but it is below Willingham’s high standard.

The story takes places before the first issue of Fables, so Snow White is the Deputy Mayor, Bigby is the Sheriff and Frau Totenkinder is the leader of the 13th floor witches. Bigby and Totenkinder have supporting roles in this story, and they are true to their characters without stealing the scenes they are in.

The story centers on Rapunzel. She journeys to Tokyo to revisit friends & enemies (and frenemies) that she made in medieval Japan. It deals with themes of motherhood, daughterhood, friendship, unrequieted love and old lovers.

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