Animal Farm (Fables #2)
by Bill Willingham
Ever since they were driven from their homelands by the Adversary, the non-human Fables have been living on the Farm—a vast property in upstate New York that keeps them hidden from the prying eyes of the mundane world. But now, after hundreds of years of isolation, the Farm is seething with revolution, fanned by the inflammatory rhetoric of Goldilocks and the Three Little Pigs. And when Snow White and her sister Rose Red stumble upon their plan to liberate the Homelands, the commissars of the Farm are ready to silence them—by any means necessary!
Collecting the second story arc of creator and writers Bill Willingham’s acclaimed series Fables, Animal Farm feature the stunning artwork of penciller Mark Buckingham and inker Steve Leialoha, and includes a special sketchbook section of preliminary artwork from Willingham, Buckingham, and cover artist James Jean.
This volume picks up pretty much right after the first one. Jack and Rose Red are serving community service time due to their shenanigans in the first volume, when Snow White decides it’s time for her annual trip up north to the farm, where the fables who can’t pass as humans reside.
The problem in Fabletown this time is that the farm animals are split amongst themselves. Some want to try to retake the old lands and battle against the Adversary, while the others are content to stay as they’ve been. Goldilocks is the leader of the ones who want to rebel (she’s hooked up with Baby Bear, which … ew), and it turns out that, not only does she want to eventually reclaim their old lands, but she wants to take over the New York-residing Fabletown as well. Snow and Rose Red arrive right in the middle of a meeting about this, and as such are in danger pretty much from the get-go. The guy who’s responsible for running the farm, Weyland Smith (from Norse/Germanic mythology), has disappeared, and Rose Red suspects that something’s up, whereas Snow White is unbelievably stupid about what’s really going on. The result of this is that Snow White ends up running for her life from the fables who want her dead in order to move forward with their revolution.
I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as volume one, mostly because I had a hard time placing the characters with their fables. I had no idea who Weyland Smith was supposed to be until I looked him up on Wikipedia, and aside from the mentions of Brer Rabbit/Bear/etc., and the three pigs/Billy Goats Gruff, found all of their pictures to be somewhat nondescript and unremarkable. I did like the idea of Goldilocks being the one to lead the revolution, although found it amusing that the reason the animals abducted Weyland Smith is because he was human and they wanted to rule themselves, and yet they were okay with Goldilocks – who is also human – being the one to lead them in their ultimate goal. Pot, kettle, much?
I did like the end, in which Rose Red found something to do with herself that wasn’t causing trouble, and liked her explanation about why Snow White survived her assassination attempt. I am interested enough in what’s going to happen next (and if/when/how Goldilocks shows up again) to continue reading the next installment, at any rate, although I am in no means in love with this series.