April Books 8) Fables vol 12: The Dark Ages, by Bill Willingham

I’ve been faithfully following Willingham’s series of graphic novels about fairy-tale characters adapting to life in contemporary America, and the latest volume has been nominated for the Hugos this year so I was glad to pick it up in Belfast.

After the previous volume saw the end of the grand conflict between the Earth-based Fables and the evil empire which had dominated the story so far, The Dark Ages shows that problems may not be over as other ancient evils come to life, protective magic loses its cohesion, and some of the war wounded are still dying. The pieces are being put in place for future plot developments but there is of necessity noi resolution, so it’s a slightly disappointing story on its own merits. The volume also includes a dubious extra, “Return to the Jungle Book”, where Willingham (who has previously failed massively at Arabic culture) uncomfortably and unsuccessfully tackles India, or rather a parallel world that happens to look like India.

I saw somewhere (and now can’t find) a complaint that Fables Vol 12; The Dark Ages should not have been allowed on the Hugo nominations list as such, that the rules specify “a story or story arc” and that this volume contains “The Dark Ages”, “Return to the Jungle Book”, and a couple of other stories, which should have individually been eligible. If that is what the rules say, and I didn’t just dream it, then I feel their letter may be wrong and their spirit is being interpreted correctly – surely most people buy books, not story arcs? This is only the second year of the Hugo for Best Graphic Story and it is still finding its feet (Paul Cornell missed out on a nomination for Captain Britain last year through administrative error). (Edited to add: Thanks to and for pointing out ‘s posts on this here and here.)

One thought on “April Books 8) Fables vol 12: The Dark Ages, by Bill Willingham

  1. Yes true, but you have unionists on 5.3 quotas and the benefit of naturally having a higher inter-transfer rate than nationalists, and unionists have in previous elections taken 5 seats on less than 5.2 in similar constituencies like Strangford. Although I think the nature of the boundary change will be if nationalists miss here, they’ll pick an extra one up in North Antrim to compensate? Have you factored in that the more nationalist areas of the DEA’s split between Mid Antrim and North Antrim all seem to be on the same side of the boundary, ie North Antrim – Carnlough, Glenravel, Portglenone

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