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Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall [Hardcover]

Bill Willingham , Todd Klein
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 18 2006 Fables (Unnumbered)
Don't miss this stunning original hardcover collection written by FABLES creator Bill Willingham set in the early days of Fabletown, long before the FABLES series began! Featuring sequences illustrated by Charles Vess, Brian Bolland, John Bolton, Michael Wm. Kaluta, James Jean, Mark Buckingham, Jill Thompson and more, 1,001 NIGHTS OF SNOWFALL is both an entry point to the critically acclaimed series and an essential part of Willingham's enchanting and imaginative FABLES mythos.Traveling in Arabia as an Ambassador from the exiled FABLES community, Snow White is captured by the local sultan who wants to marry her (and then kill her). But the clever Snow attempts to charm the sultan instead by playing Scheherazade, telling him fantastic stories for a total of 1,001 nights. Running the gamut from horror to dark intrigue to mercurial coming-of-age, FABLES:1,001 NIGHTS OF SNOWFALL reveals the secret histories of familiar FABLES characters through a series of compelling and visually illustrative tales.

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From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Probably the smartest mainstream comic going, Fables usually concentrates on the contemporary activities of characters from children's stories who now are living as secret refugees in New York. This collection gives glimpses of their individual backstories before the armies of the brutal Adversary drove them out of Fairyland. Readers will learn, for example, what spoiled the Big Bad Wolf's disposition and what happened to the witch after Hansel and Gretel pushed her into the oven. It would be relatively easy to do clever, merely cynical readings of the fairy tales, but Willingham is after something much more interesting. Like Neil Gaiman and Tanith Lee, he's reimagining the old stories, trying to see why they have survived and also to point out the aspects they somehow neglect: it's only natural that Snow White would take revenge on the seven little rapists who abducted her, but the independent way she goes about it casts doubt on her subservient relationship to Prince Charming. Willingham reminds readers of how much they ignore in their anxiety to believe that all stories end happily ever after. Artists like Charles Vess, Mark Buckingham and Jill Thompson work up to the level of the perceptive scripts, making this a memorable, uncomfortably amusing treat. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

A volume full of backstories about the fairy- and folktale characters who figure in the hit comic book Fables gets the kind of classy treatment success merits. Every story in it is drawn by a different artist who shows off his or her distinctiveness in manners ranging from traditional comics realism and photo-based naturalism to Maxfield Parrish-Howard Pyle sumptuousness and a panoply of caricatural styles. The book is painted throughout, and it's debuting in hardcover. But is it any good? In a word, yes. From latter-nineteenth--century Fabletown in Manhattan, Snow White is dispatched to the Arabian sultan's court in the homeland to enlist his support in the fight against the Adversary, who drove the European fables into exile but hasn't yet threatened the Middle Eastern contingent. The ruler entraps her, and she must, a la Scheherazade, tell him the primary contents of the book to stay alive while wooing his cooperation. The stories are both clever and psychologically explanatory of the characters as they appear in the ongoing, contemporarily set Fables story. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fables Meets Scheherazade Dec 10 2009
By Nicola Mansfield HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Reason for Reading: next published book in the Fables series.

Summary: Snow White is sent to the land of the Arabian fables to ask for their help in fighting the Adversary. The time period is shortly after the fables have settled in our world and from information gathered in this book that is probably somewhere in the 1600s. When she arrives the court of the Sultan does not know what to do with such an insult, a woman emissary! They lock her in her rooms for quite some time but after she becomes troublesome they decide to send her to the Sultan as his nightly bride who will be killed the following morning but Snow White decides to tell him a story and so she continues on for 1001 nights. This book contains only a select few of those tales.

Comments: This book is not a part of the Fables series proper. It was not published in comic book format but is an original graphic novel. The book is still written by Bill Willingham but each story has been illustrated by various different artists, creating a visually pleasing book. The book is often listed as a prequel to the series since the events take place some hundreds of years prior to the Fables series, yet it can be read at any time. I chose to read it now, after book 7, because this is when it was chronologically published. In book 7, Arabian Nights (and Days), there is a brief scene where someone asks Snow White hadn't she been to the Arabian fables world before and she replies shortly with oh that was a long time ago, I'm paraphrasing here. Thus Willingham has set up the scene for introducing this book at this time.

A great book! Beautiful art work. It was really enjoyable to see the Fables world come alive through different artists' perspectives, some of the art is especially fantastic. The stories are all great fun.
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The review publish here by N. Manning is quite complete. I have nothing more to add constructively.

I've read all the 12 TPB books available at this time of writing, before getting into this one.
What bothered me the most was the change of artists, of methods used to represent the worlds and the fables characters. The many mini-stories we find in this book, all drawn with differents approach, somehow calmed me and made me appreciate what have been artistically tried in the 12 TPB I've read before. i'm okay now. I dont need Snow, BigBy, Rose Red, Beast and all the others to always look the same. It's alright to have fun in representing them in different ways. That is the main thing I got from this book. And it's big one for me, for my appreciation of the Fables collection.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  48 reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fables masterwork Dec 7 2006
By Tom Knapp - Published on Amazon.com
Once upon a time, long before the events of Bill Willingham's ongoing "Fables" series, Snow White was sent on an embassy on behalf of Fabletown to seek an alliance with the Arabian nations. Once there, she found herself trapped by the sultan and scheduled to be married, bedded and executed, all within the next 24 hours. Snow, cunning thinker that she is, distracts the sultan with a story, and her subsequent stay of execution draws out longer and longer as she spins tales of fables behind the fables.

Charles Vess, one of my favorite fantasy artists, provides the book's foundation, working with Michael Wm. Kaluta to give brilliant, highly detailed and colorful life to Snow, the sultan and his fantastic court. Each of Snow White's stories features the work of a different artist, and the differing artistic styles provides eye-pleasing transitions between tales.

This book is certainly intended for mature readers; youngsters are probably not ready for a naked Snow White, the ugly truth about her time with the dwarves or the fate of the Frog Prince's wife and children. But for adults, whether or not they read the Fables series, this is a masterwork of prose and artistic storytelling. Set apart from the regular series and yet deeply grounded within it, "1001 Nights of Snowfall" is a richer, fuller, more satisfying collection than anything the series has yet produced.

Scheherazade herself should envy this treasure trove of stories. I only regret the book held only a handful and not the full set of 1,001. This is easily one of the best graphic novels of the year.

by Tom Knapp, Rambles editor
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful background on Fables characters Oct. 19 2006
By Eric Oppen - Published on Amazon.com
This long-awaited addition to the _Fables_ lineup gives, along with a framing story based on the _Thousand and One Nights,_ background on many of the best-known Fables...as well as some that we haven't met yet. We find out why Snow White is so touchy about the dwarfs, what really happened to Flycatcher's family, why Bigby hates his father and the story of Frau Totenkinder...and that's just the most well-known of the Fables whose backstories are presented.

The art is by a stable of guest artists, including James Jean, the Fables cover artist, who does a spectacular job illustrating Flycatcher's story. All of the art is good, and some is better than that.

If you're a Fables fan, you'll definitely want this book. It may not be the best place to begin for a Fables newbie, but once you've gotten to know who is who, you'll definitely want it.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great art, but read it after the first couple of Fables volumes Jan. 23 2008
By Aron Biro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The only reason this doesn't get a full 5 stars is that it cannot be read as a standalone collection of stories, as i thought. You cannot use this volume as an entry point to Fables. Essentially, it's a series of flashbacks regarding the origins of some characters from the Fables series, masked as 1001 arabian nights "frame stories" told by Snow White during her imprisonment in arabian territory.

So, as any prequel, it should be read after 2-3 TPB volumes of Fables otherwise it's just like watching the flashback parts from Lost episodes without the events happening on the island.

On the bright side, it has some of the greatest art in comics i've seen and the variation makes it even greater. This is the kind of comics that i find perfectly crafted: a single writer for story consistency and a variation of illustrators to provide different perspectives on the same characters.

It also got some awards so it's a warm recommendation but as i said, only after getting acquainted with the characters whose origins and dark secrets are presented here.

Warning: don't buy this for your kids even if it looks shiny and contains pictures of Snow White, Prince Charming and goblins. Fables is a series for mature readers, with mature (even sexually oriented) themes dressed in a fairytale form and it achieves that without falling into parody or mockery (which makes it great). It walks the same path as the works of Neil Gaiman or Roger Zelazny with a stronger mainstream appeal (meaning that you don't have to read volumes of mythology and classic literature or to buy companion books in order to understand all the references).
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great example of a wonderful, adult comic book Dec 15 2006
By Jason Gruss - Published on Amazon.com
Originally, fairy tales and fables were gore-filled, fantastical stories with dire warnings and messages. What if all those stories were real?

The world of fairy tales and "Fables" is the backdrop for this collection. Prince Charming really married Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella (didn't you know it was the *same* Prince?). Snow White escaped not only the evil Queen of her own story, but she had to flee from a greater menace, "The Advesary". This evil tyrant has chased all of the European fables out of their own worlds, and into ours.

This story is a bit of a prequel to the series. As such, this book reads very easily on its own. Personally, this was my first book in the series. Although there are several trade paperbacks of the Fables comics out now (seven as of this writing with #8 soon on its way - we hope!), none of those are needed at all to enjoy this book.

In this story Snow White is sent from the exiled world of the European Fables to the world of Arabian Fables. Her goal is to speak with their ruler and join forces against "The Adversary". Through her efforts to gain the support of the Arabian King this story unfolds. This book is a collection of stories from the European Fables. We learn much more about many of the faces familiar to those reading the comics.

Whether you are a fan of the series, a fan of fairy tales or fables, or looking for a graphic novel that tells a rich, layered story with great depth and beautiful art - this book is for you!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who knew Fables could get better? Oct. 28 2006
By Jeremy Hartwick - Published on Amazon.com
I love Fables. It's tied with Linsner's Dawn as my favorite Graphic Novel series. I am constantly pulled into the Fables' world and am never bored to reread their stories. I didn't think it could get any better than it already was. But this book did. I nearly wept at the tale of the Frog Prince. I found Bigby's origin to be completly inline with his character. And the return to life and subsequent telling of her history of Hansel and Gretel's witch was an amazing story. I think the best way to enjoy this book is to have first read at least a few books of the Fables ongoing (Homelands being my favorite volume) but it is certainly an accessable title to anyone new to the series.
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