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Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland Hardcover – Nov 20 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo (Nov. 20 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401224792
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401224790
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 1.5 x 26.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #197,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Clever, enjoyable.... Willingham clearly has an immense amount of fun playing with these characters and their histories, and the art is a perfect match: clear, fanciful and finely drawn. Fables is an excellent series in the tradition of Sandman, one that rewards careful attention and loyalty."—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY on FABLES

"[A] wonderfully twisted concept.... Features fairy tale characters banished to the nourish world of present-day New York."—WASHINGTON POST

"[A] spellbinding epic."—BOOKLIST

"Clever, enjoyable ... an excellent series in the tradition of SANDMAN, one that
rewards careful attention and loyalty."—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"One of the best damn series ever written."—AIN'T IT COOL NEWS

About the Author

Bill Willingham has been writing, and sometimes drawing, comics for more than twenty years. During that time he's had work published by nearly every comics publisher in the business and he's written many critically-acclaimed comic book series, including Elementals, FABLES, JACK OF FABLES, FAIREST, ROBIN, SHADOWPACT and SALVATION RUN. A multiple winner of the Eisner Award, Willingham has also been nominated for the International Horror Guild award. Bill lives somewhere near a good poker room.

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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael MacDonald on March 17 2013
Format: Hardcover
It's a basic story that adds reasonably well to the Fables legacy. Unfortunately, it's not a shining example of what Willingham is capable of.

It plays well with the various tropes of fairy tales of various types, but unlike the other Fables entries, this tale fails to build upon those stories. It doesn't really add anything new to the readers' perspective.

It's a good tale, just not critical.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Laushway on March 4 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Willingham is a machine. This is another carefully-crafted story, featuring the long-neglected (and incredibly compelling) character of Bigby Wolf. Bigby is at his best when he has to think on his feet, and this story provides that sort of situation in spades. Of all the Fables spin-off books, this has been my favourite.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David Gannon on Dec 9 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Why would a book which is so clearly rushed and poorly illustrated merit a hardcover edition? I don't know either, but the story is ancillary at best and the art is just terrible. After the terrible fables cross over and now this, I think I'm done with this series all together.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 55 reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
This is part of the Fables series?!? Nov. 23 2012
By Kevin Johnstone - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a big enough fan to own all the Fables graphic novels so I just automatically preordered this one. Well, it was a Bigby the wolf solo story according to the cover and the blurb and that was enough for me to feel it was worth the money. Whoops, big mistake on my part. The first problem is the artwork, the series regular cover and interior artists are missing and it makes everything seem off. None of the characters carry the weight they generally do so all the story beats you would recognize from the other books are missing visually and the art is a bit weak.

The blame can't land on the artist alone though. The story is very weak, there's really not anything else to find out other than what you see on the cover. Bigby runs into a bunch of other wolves that seem similar to him and he has to fight them.... and there is a blonde to protect. It sounds throwaway and derivative because it is, there's no sense of reason or consequence to anything and I could not find anything to care about. For a series fan, this should be as much of a slamdunk as finding a 4th Eastwood / Leone western, but it's just stale rote.

In short, the story forms a thin grasping link between Bigby's WW2 adventure that acts as the precursor to a town full of werewolves that are related to him. They've been doing their thing in the heart of America for a few decades without any clear plan or purpose other than to be waiting around for Bigby to wander by so he can kill most of them and lament the poorer choices others with some of his abilities and none of his strengths have made before wandering off again. The whole thing is like an unfinished sentence, a half formed idea or partially remembered dream.... ie, terribly unsatisfying and a bit embarrassing once you try to share it with someone else and realize how little there was to the thing other than your personal feelings about it.

I wouldn't expect that it will relate in any meaningful way to future Fable stories beyond a one sentence reference to 'that town with the werewolves I ran into last year' in a grasping attempt to make series fans like myself run out and buy a book they don't need. So if you are wondering if you need to pick this up because it ties into something else that might be important to the ongoing story.... I seriously doubt you need to worry, save your money and buy the Fables Covers by James Jean instead, its fantastic, this isn't.
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely Terrible Nov. 25 2012
By Mike Hunt - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It pains me to say this being a HUGE Fables fan but this stand-alone graphic novel "Werevolves of the Heartland" may be the single worst entry in the ENTIRE Fables canon. It's THAT weak. The concept is interesting enough: Bigby Wolf encounters a sleepy, Normal Rockwellesque little hamlet in the Midwest populated by werevolves who worship him as a God and have a mysterious connection to his past.

When I first read that tagline I thought "Sweet"! But then I got the book and that's where the hijinks ended and my tears began. The writing is mediocre...huge chunks of the story are told in blocky, awkward narration. "Show, Don't Tell" is apparently a technique this writer never learned in Generic Writing School. The entire first fourth of the book is basically a retelling, almost page by page, of a story we have ALREADY read before in the main Fables story. If this had been a monthly it would mean that basically the first issue would have been a retread. I would have seen red if I had bought it.

The story is riddled with plot holes. One of the key characters regenerates after being burnt to a crisp because of his werewolf blood...but later in the book it's shown that actually werewolves are terrified of fire because it's one of the few things that can hurt them! Say what? What an amateurish mistake.

Bigby meets an old friend, who confesses to terrible, savage crimes and he just shrugs it off as if it was no big deal. This character's wife by the way, is an old enemy of Bigby which he despised deeply...but apparently he's forgotten all about it since it's never mentioned again. The depiction of this couple's first meetings and eventual joining together to create a werewolf town are so terribly written you will struggle not to laugh.

The only redeeming feature of this work is the art. It's nice and original...reminds me a lot of a discount P. Craig Russell. However, even the art is not without its faults since inexplicably the artist chooses to illustrate every single inhabitant of Wolf Town in the exact same Aryan way so you'll basically have no idea who's who.

Not that it matters. Only 13 year olds would be engrossed by this story. I lost interest in the 10th page and just read it the whole thing because of a grim determination to getting my money's worth. Quite frankly I cannot wait to donate this to a local library and get it out of my sight.

Do not recommend in any way, shape or form.

P.S. I just remembered another thing about the art: near the end of the story...for absolutely NO REASON at all a different artist draws two pages. It's jarring enough to make you wince and I have no idea why it happened. Usually fill in artists are hired to illustrate monthly books because the main artist is behind on schedule. This graphic novel wasn't a monthly publication. It's a stand-alone work written and drawn completely before release. Why in God's name would they need a fill-in artist? This just add to the overall amateurish aspect of the whole thing.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Great story - terrible art Nov. 21 2012
By Kristy - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For those Fables fans who wondered what Bigby was up to when he was sent out on his mission to find a new place to settle Fabletown: Bill Willingham delivers with this story.

However, the art is something else entirely. Detail inconsistencies between pages (or lack there-of) and colors between panels. (Trying to avoid spoilers, so I will stay as unspecific as possible.) At one point, I felt they had just blown two smaller panels up, to be full two-page panels, in order to increase the page count. Although the story itself was great, it was hard to follow at times because of the quality of the art and layout.

I hold Fables up to a higher standard than I would other comics. It is, without a doubt, my favorite comic book series. Fables has won 14 Eisner Awards, and honestly, I expect a better drawn book. (Something at least in line with the rest of the series.) However, I still feel let down after waiting over a year to read Werewolves of the Heartland. The drawings felt rushed. This is the first time I have rated a Fables anywhere below 5 stars.

I would not recommend this story for those new to Fables. Start with TPB #1, and move yourself forward to this point in the story. Graphic violence and a lot of nudity as well, so keep away from younger audiences. Again, great story, and less to be desired art (from something within the Fables universe.)However, still worth a read, so dive in.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
No Heart in this Heartland, but lots of Wolves Dec 27 2012
By Anthony R. Cardno - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I have to say at the start that I am a huge FABLES fan, from the first days of the series. The concept hasn't tired for me at all, and I think overall Willingham finds ways to keep the characters and stories fresh -- not an easy thing to do with a monthly on-going series in a field that hates endings and permanent character changes. All of that being said, I felt like this was one of the weaker entries into the series.

There's nothing wrong with the basic concept: Bigby Wolf finding out that there are indeed werewolves in the "mundy" world. There's nothing wrong with the basic problem: as a self-contained and fairly in-bred society with its roots in Nazi Germany, the werewolves are not exactly well-adjusted. And it's not that the story isn't self-contained: the call-backs to previous Fables storylines (including Bigby's World War II service and the early machinations and death of Bluebeard) tell new readers what they need to know without veering off into detailed flashbacks or "you really should read volume xxx" footnotes. Despite all of this, for me the story came off feeling at once too big and too empty. Aside from the always-strong characterization of Bigby (who, let's face it, has been the heart of the Fables story since the beginning, even as Snow White is the soul), the rest of the main characters feel largely interchangeable and stereotypical: the old friend with a secret, the young girl with premonitions, the angry cop, the femme fatale, etc. I found myself not really caring what happened to anyone except Bigby, and I'm pretty sure that wasn't Willingham's intent (considering the strong effort he's always made in Fables to make even tertiary characters stand as individuals).

The cover art is gorgeous. The interior page art is easy to follow, reasonably realistic and but not all that detailed. The story gets the job done and of course leaves room for further complications to arise. I wish I'd enjoyed the book more than I did.

Also: kudos to Willingham for sliding a sly reference to "Once Upon A Time" into the narrative.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Utterly horrible story. Feb. 24 2013
By Daniel Kauwe - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the worst excuse for a Fables spin off that I have ever seen. The story starts with a very interesting premise, however it quickly becomes entangled in one fallacy after another. For example [warning this isn't really a spoiler because it's information that has been essentially presented in the Fables main story line, however it is made pretty explicit in this story for the first time overall that I am aware of] werewolves apparently can regenerate from most anything other than fire and silver bullets according to the Fables mythology, and yet inexplicably Bigby is able to totally kill other werewolves just by ripping them apart...the story totally contradicts itself. This is just one example, of point after point in which the story just totally ruins itself with utterly sloppy writing. I would not recommend buying this product as it's not something anyone would probably want to reread. I got it mostly because I like collecting the Fables series and this is part of that series, otherwise, I'd probably give it away...but then that would be cruel to the recipient...

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