Review: Fairest In All the Land by Bill Willingham

December 1, 2013 Review 2

Review: Fairest In All the Land by Bill WillinghamFairest In All the Land by Bill Willingham
Series: Fairest
Published by Vertigo on November 26, 2013
Genres: Graphic Novel
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 160
Source: Edelweiss, NetGalley
Excerpt: Excerpt
Sexual Content: N/A
Reviewed by: Kate
4 Stars

In the spirit of FABLES: 1001 NIGHTS OF SNOWFALL and FABLES: WEREWOLVES OF THE HEARTLAND comes the first ever original graphic novel from the pages of #1 New York Times bestselling writer Bill Willingham's FAIREST.

FAIREST has explored the secret histories of the most stunning beauties in Fabletown: Cinderella, Snow White, Briar Rose, Rapunzel, and the list goes on and on. In FAIREST IN ALL THE LAND, the best names in comics take their turns fleshing out the pasts of the loveliest Fables in existence. For all those wanting to dive into FAIREST or FABLES, this original graphic novel is a fantastic entry point, as well as a great new chapter for those that have been following Bill Willingham's fairy tale epic for years.

A while back I read a blog post (I can't remember where) extolling the virtues of the Fables series of comics/graphic novels. I picked up Fables Volume 1 and have been hooked ever since! So, when FAIREST IN ALL THE LAND showed up, I knew I had to read it. FAIREST IN ALL THE LAND is a stand-alone graphic novel set in the same world as the Fables and Fairest series, with a murder mystery and a magic mirror subplot, and is as enchanting as all the others, with lovely artwork by many different artists.

FAIREST IN ALL THE LAND's mystery stars Cinderella as a detective, and has a gritty, noir-ish feel to it, as much as one can get in a comic book. The reader is in on a few more details due to the interludes with the magic mirror, but the ending still had me surprised. The magic mirror had the tendency to get a bit wordy, but overall I enjoyed the little breaks from the mystery and the background the reader got from the mirror about its history and the various fairy tale artifacts.

My only complaint about FAIREST IN ALL THE LAND is that though the artwork is amazing, it was a bit confusing to have so many different styles. It took me a bit to get into a groove, and at the beginning there were a few times where I confused characters - let's be honest, it's hard to distinguish between so many blond fairy tale heroines. But once I got used to it, the opportunity to see each individual artist's style within the same story was fascinating. The differences in graphic novel art isn't something I would normally think about, so that was a very cool aspect.

FAIREST IN ALL THE LAND is a perfect little mental break - quick and easy to read, fun to look at, and with a nice satisfying murder mystery. If you like fairy tale retellings, I would definitely recommend this. While it isn't a retelling, all the fairy tale princesses in one location makes for some fun imagining, and Willingham's take on the various personalities made me chuckle. FAIREST IN ALL THE LAND only makes me eager for moreĀ Fairest andĀ Fables. You'll have to excuse me while I go and catch up on all the ones I've missed now.

Series Titles:
  1. Fairest Volume 1: Wide Awake
  2. Fairest Volume 2: The Hidden Kingdom
  3. Fairest Volume 3: The Return of the Maharaja
  4. Fairest In All the Land
More Reviews: Similar Titles:
  • Fables series by Bill Willingham

2 Responses to “Review: Fairest In All the Land by Bill Willingham”

  1. Ed Moore

    Did you see Willingham’s announcement that the series will end with issue 150?