Bill Willingham, . . DC/Vertigo, $14.99 (190pp) ISBN 978-1-4012-0500-3
This clever, enjoyable series written by Willingham, has a rather ingenious premise: what if all the characters of fairy tales lived, loved, schemed, and fought in a modern-day city of their own? This installment contains two fun story arcs. One, a cute satire of contemporary Hollywood, stars Jack, of beanstalk fame, portrayed as a rather unsavory trickster. Making his way to Hollywood with a fistful of cash, he becomes a wildly successful producer of films based on his own mythological exploits. Eventually, though, his ruthless business practices and unsavory past catch up with him. In a longer story, Little Boy Blue goes on an epic quest to find and kill a shadowy tyrant who turns out to be none other than kindly old Geppetto, now a bilious tyrant still longing for his Pinocchio. The more one reads of the series, the more the narrative strands bear thematic fruit. Willingham clearly has an immense amount of fun playing with these characters and their histories, and the art, mostly by Buckingham, is a perfect match: clear, fanciful and finely drawn.
Reviewed on: 12/12/2005