The 20th Volume of Fables, Camelot, takes on an Arthurian tone. It captures issues #130-140 from the popular and award winning series. Rose Red attempts to rally the troops and create a new Knights of the Round Table. She sends the birds from Fabletown to find possible knights throughout the realm and to gather them at a plastic table she has set up in the middle of the woods. After the tragic events of “Snow White,” that title heroine is less than pleased with Red’s attempts to make good. Rose Red’s decision to bring a certain killer onto her team also leaves Snow White unsettled. Red slowly begins to see the dangers of her plan, but feels compelled to carry it out regardless.
Bill Willingham is the master of a convoluted storyline. Using characters from every major folk story and culture has its difficulties, and Willingham is able to carefully navigate them with a modern twist. This does lead to challenges for the casual reader. Fables is an amazing series, but painfully hard to follow if you haven’t read most of the issues. For readers who have never read the “Snow White” collection, many of the ideas and reasons behind characters actions will be confusing. Mark Buckingham’s art is strong, and as complicated and challenging as the storylines he is tasked with illustrating. From an autopsy of a man with no heart to a shattered glass wolf, the art work in Fables is certainly not a common art school assignment.
Fables: Camelot is a testament to the strength of the series. 20 Volumes in, the story continues to be compelling and original, despite stories that have seemingly always existed in human imagination. Fables: Camelot is a story for readers of dark fairytales, not for those who enjoy light-hearted Disney fare.