Title: Fables, Vol. 14: Witches
Author: Bill Willingham
First published December 7, 2010
192 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 9781401228804 (ISBN10: 1401228801)
Winner of Fourteen Eisner Awards, Fables, Vol. 14: Witches, takes readers back into the world of Fabletown, where danger lurks around every corner.
As Mister Dark continues to spread his web of fear and anger, the free Fables find themselves cut off from their most valuable resources. In a desperate bid to defeat their latest enemy, the exiled Fables must turn to their oldest and most powerful members – the witches and warlocks who once occupied the Woodland’s 13th floor.
But with rivalries within the Fables’ sorcerous community threatening to tear them apart, will they be able to unite and overcome this latest threat? Find out in this thrilling installment of the Fables series.
About the Author
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, this individual created intricate fantasy ink drawings for the Dungeons & Dragons Basic and Expert game rulebooks. Their big break came with the release of the Elementals comic book series in the 1980s, which they not only illustrated but also wrote.
Unfortunately, the series faced difficulties with maintaining a consistent publishing schedule, and the artist’s career suffered as a result. They dabbled in other projects, such as contributing stories to Green Lantern and creating their own independent comic series, Coventry, which only lasted for three issues.
Additionally, they produced a pornographic series called Ironwood for Eros Comix.
However, in the late 1990s, the artist made a comeback as a prolific writer. They created a 13-issue series called Pantheon for Lone Star Press and wrote two short novels about the modern adventures of Beowulf, which were published by Clockwork Storybook, a writer’s collective that they helped found.
In the early 2000s, they began writing extensively for DC Comics. This included a limited series called Proposition Player, two limited series about the Greek witch Thessaly from The Sandman, and most notably, the wildly popular series Fables.
Fables, Vol. 14: Witches by Bill Willingham is a remarkable addition to the Fables series that explores the intricate tapestry of fantasy and folklore with a clever mix of humor, suspense, and pathos.
Willingham’s storytelling prowess and vivid imagination transport readers to a magical world that is both familiar and unfamiliar, blending ancient myths and contemporary sensibilities in a seamless and enchanting way. The basic premise of the Fables series is that legendary characters from fairy tales, folklore, and legends have taken refuge in New York City after being driven from their homelands by a sinister conqueror known as the Adversary.
In this volume, the focus is on various witches and warlocks who are plotting revenge against their erstwhile oppressor, using a combination of ancient spells, cunning tricks, and modern technology. The book introduces several new characters and subplots, including Ozma, the Queen of the Witches, who is determined to expose the Adversary’s secrets at any cost.
Meanwhile, her loyal servant, Bufkin, goes on a wild and wacky adventure in the magical realm of Oz, where he meets all sorts of eccentric characters and overcomes formidable obstacles in his quest to liberate the talking animals from their slumber. The main conflict revolves around the witches’ plan to stage a rebellion and overthrow the Adversary, but as always in the Fables universe, nothing is as simple as it seems.
One of the strengths of the book is Willingham’s ability to weave together multiple plotlines and character arcs into a cohesive and engaging narrative. He seamlessly switches between different perspectives and perspectives, giving readers a glimpse into the minds and motivations of various characters, including some of the villains.
Another highlight is the lush and imaginative artwork by Mark Buckingham, who brings to life the diverse world of Fables with exquisite details, bold colors, and expressive character designs. However, some readers may find that the book is less focused and more meandering than previous volumes, with some subplots feeling underdeveloped or rushed.
Additionally, the book may be less accessible to readers who are new to the series, as it assumes a lot of prior knowledge about the complex mythology and character relationships. Overall, Fables, Vol.
14: Witches is a must-read for fans of the series and for anyone who enjoys a good mix of magic, mythology, and social commentary. The book raises thought-provoking questions about power, oppression, freedom, and identity, while also delivering plenty of thrills and laughs.
It may not be the best entry point for new readers, but for those who have followed the series from the beginning, it is a worthy and satisfying continuation. Rating: 4/5 stars