Rose Red by Bill Willingham. Art by Mark Buckingham (Canada) - (US)
Fables, Vol. 15
Finished: Jul. 20, 2011
First Published: Apr. 12, 2011
Genre: graphic novel, fantasy
Fulfill your sworn duty.
Acquired: Purchased a copy through an online retailer.
Reason for Reading: next in the series.
First, this is a satisfyingly huge volume coming in at over 250 pages; this is because it includes the celebratory 100th issue in which they included lots of extras. I loved this volume! The main story is carried along nicely, plenty of characters have resolutions in their lives, we see the departure of a character that's been in from the beginning and then the start of new story threads are briefly introduced.
The book starts off with the title story "Rose Red" which consists of 5 chapters and takes a deep look at Red's character and the mess she is currently in. We are taken back into her past when she was a little girl with "Fables" retellings of "Snow White & Rose Red" and "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". This is the real focus of the volume and takes up over 100 pages. A very satisfying story; I've been unhappy with the direction of Red's character lately and this is a rewarding read. Of special note is that Red is exposed to a stunning reveal but, we the reader, are not made privy to what she sees. I have an idea as to what it is though, so we'll see if I'm right in future volumes.
Next we're taken into the Dark City for a single chapter to spend some time with the Dark Man and see what he is up to and planning for the future of the world. Then onto a long single chapter in which all things come to a head when there is an ultimate battle (well, duel, really) between the Dark Man and one character who has long planned to take him on.
At this point we are treated to the bonus material with two short stories, one featuring Thumbelina and the other the Three Blind Mice. Then a longer short story which is written in text about Pinocchio and Geppetto. Finally finishing off with some fun stuff, a few graphic shorts, a Fables Puppet Theatre (which can be photocopied and actually built and played with), a Board Game and finally a sketchbook of Mark Buckingham's work.
All the little extras are a lot of fun, but the two main plot developments of Rose Red and the Dark Man carry the story along wonderfully and leave us poised for the next volume. All the other characters do appear also and everybody gets a little character development or move forward in their plot. Beauty finally has her baby and it isn't what she was expecting at all! A highlight in the series!