Monday, November 16, 2009

Peter & Max, Fables and Bill Willingham: Sheer Genius


It may require someone nursed on comparatively unexpurgated, original language, versions of Grimm's Fairy Tales, to fully appreciate the genius of Bill Willingham. Well, I was, and I do.

For those interested, here's a sympathetic review that I almost entirely agree with.

The whole Fables universe, including the satirical allegory that is the Jack series spin-off, represents not only a long-overdue resurrection of fairy tales, but also runs counter to the current trend to sanitize the tales until their are limp, pathetic ghosts of their former selves. I found out that apparently this trend wasn't just a recent thing, but dates back through the whole series of fairy-tale revisions. This is just one example. More can be found in the links on this site. For those interested in such matters—and especially the evisceration of the true meanings contained in the original fairy tales—it makes for grim reading.

The popularity of Fables does give me hope though, as it appears to demonstrate that, while the majority of our species— at least in the Western and Western-influenced world—is drowning in a cloying morass of conformity and fear of anything that may threaten our currently prevailing delusions about our human nature, there are quite a few who at least sense that this is not only wrong, but—as Willingham obviously believes and tries to put across, sometimes very overtly—indeed destructive of the human spirit.

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