Tag Archives: Bill Willingham

DC Comics Holding Kamandi Challenge And It Sounds Cool As Shit

Countdown-Special-Kamandi-1-41c53 (1)During the DC All Access Panel At Emerald City Comic Con, the publisher announced the Kamandi Challenge, where several creators will attempt to make their best Kamandi stories. These creators include Walt Simonson, Neal Adams, Gail Simone, Tom King, Bill Willingham, Steve Orlando, Marguerite Bennett, Keith Giffen, Greg Pak, Dan Abnett & more. Details at CBR. Every time I see the title I always want to scream it out like Charles Barkley does “GINOBLI!!!”

Let the Great Experiment Begin!

          backissuesHello friends, this week at The Banana Stand I’ve decided to journey into the world of back issues with a little experiment.  I’ve noticed that a lot of readers–myself included–are allowing continuity and the desire to read every issue affect the way they approach comics, and I think this is causing us all to take things a little too seriously, especially numbering.  It’s proven that a shiny #1 on any issue results in a bump in sales, and this is largely because we’re scared to just jump in and enjoy a comic like when we were kids.  Sure big issue numbers are intimidating, but that shouldn’t cause us to pass over a story we’re interested in, just because it’s not the beginning.

          It was this observation that caused me to try out the old method and just grab some books that looked cool, and see what happened–numbering be damned, I want freedom!  I visited a couple comic shops and rummaged through a ton of back issues with the goal of grabbing comics that I was not familiar with, paying little attention to the numbering, so I could experience them for the first time like a new reader.  There were a few differences, like the fact that I did pay attention–when allowed–to creative teams and cover art, which provided me at least some insight into what I’d be getting into.  After shuffling back and forth, I ended up taking home about thirteen books that I was curious about reading but had little to no knowledge of; I wasn’t able to cover them all, but I think we have a fair sampling of my adventure here.  The only way I can think of to structure this is to go book by book, and give my take.  As always I’ll try to justify my opinions with reason, and discuss what I liked as well as disliked about each, but I’ll be pretty succinct because otherwise this will be a long-ass, possibly boring article 🙂 Sounds good right? Cool, well here we go! Continue reading Let the Great Experiment Begin!

Image Comics Expo Annoucements

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Continue reading Image Comics Expo Annoucements

NBC USER COMIC OF THE WEEK! Fables #134

Once again Reed Bebee comes through with an excellent review of his Comic of the Week! Oh, and if you remember part of the prize of winning the Letter Writing Contest was changing this sites name to his – so since the day is almost half over I’m gonna wait till first thing tomorrow morning to change the name. October 17th will forever be know as REED BEEBE day!

FABL-Cv134-94c36The Big Bad Wolf is dead.  He died months ago, in the pages of Bill Willingham’s FABLES comic.  The Big Bad Wolf (or “Bigby”, as he is known) has been a cornerstone character of the FABLES series from the beginning, the courageous protector of a secret community of storybook characters, or “Fables”, living in our mundane world.  But all stories end, some not so “happily ever after”; Bigby died defending his wife, Snow White, from a despicable villain.   

FABLES #134 is a posthumous fantasy spotlighting Bigby in his personal Heaven, a giant forest full of game and monsters that allows him to hunt and test himself as a proper wolf should.  But his fun is interrupted by a visit from another deceased Fables character, Little Boy Blue, who explains to Bigby the nature of the afterlife, and that his death may not be permanent. Bigby has a choice to make, and Blue warns him that, should he return to the world of the living, that the other Fables will need him – trouble is coming. 

Continue reading NBC USER COMIC OF THE WEEK! Fables #134

Review of Fairest #29

Fairest 29

The Fables creative team has a synergy that is inspiring.  For years, writer Bill Willingham has crafted epic stories about fairytale characters exiled from their fantasy lands and forced to live secretly in our own mundane world; his stories have been nicely illustrated with charm and skill by artistic collaborator Mark Buckingham.  It’s an exciting jolt to the status quo to see Mark Buckingham put down his artist’s pencil and take up the writer’s pen for a tale set in the pages of Fables spinoff comic Fairest, which generally showcases the adventures of the female Fables characters.

Fairest #29 continues to explore the plight of the Fables living on the Farm.  Located in upstate New York, the Farm is the place where all the fairytale characters that can’t pass for humans are forced to reside – talking birds and anthropomorphic sunflowers live their lives in forced isolation, so as not to alert humanity to the presence of these magical exiles.

The only way for these strange creatures to leave the Farm is to receive a magical glamour that gives them a human appearance.  Unfortunately, these glamours are rare and difficult to produce, and not all Farm residents are as lucky as Reynard the Fox, who received a glamour and now transforms regularly between his fox and human forms in service to the Fables community.  However, the Farm is having a lottery to allocate a limited number of glamours to the non-human Fables.

Two such Fables hoping to win the lottery are lovers Owl and Pussycat.  Pussycat is eager to explore the mundane world, and Owl comes up with a charming solution to satisfy Pussycat’s wish for an adventure.  Meanwhile, Reynard is trapped on a farm in Louisiana by the relatives of a beautiful-but-troubled non-fairytale female love interest.

Fairest usually focuses on female protagonists, but Buckingham’s story departs from this practice to showcase the couple Owl and Pussycat and the adventures of the male Reynard.  Artist Russell Braun – with help from colorist Andrew Dalhouse –  illustrates the story with great skill.  Adam Hughes’  amazing cover proves my ongoing argument that Vertigo should collect all the FABLES and FAIREST covers in a nice hardcover book.  The story is not overly accessible to new readers, but can be enjoyed by both new and veteran readers.

Review of Fables #143

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The Fables series showcases a group of fairy tale characters in exile from their mythic homelands, stranded and forced to hide in our mundane world.  But things have changed in the Fables community.  Having defeated the adversary that forced them into exile and other threats to their community, the Fables are no longer united by a common foe.  Many Fables are thinking of leaving our world and returning to their original homelands.   And most distressing of all, two wonderful sibling characters that mean so much to Fables fans – Snow White and Rose Red – are embroiled in a dangerous personal feud that seems poised to shatter the Fables community.

The Fables may no longer be united against a common foe, but there is a hidden enemy in their midst.  This enemy is controlling a recently resurrected from the dead, feral Bigby Wolf (aka “The Big Bad Wolf”).  Bigby’s resurrection has awoken wild magic that threatens to reveal the existence of the Fables community to the world, and the Fables may have to take drastic measures to stop Bigby.

Meanwhile, the tension between Snow White and Rose Red continues, and despite both sisters claiming that they have no intention to fight one another, conflict seems inevitable.

Writer Bill Willingham’s script builds the tension as the Fables series heads for its conclusion (the series will come to an end with issue #150).  Artist Mark Buckingham does a magnificent job (with assistance from inkers Steve Leialoha and Andrew Pepoy, and colorist Lee Loughridge) of illustrating the comic (there’s a moment when the lovely Snow White makes plans to take revenge, and the look on her face sent a chill down my spine. )

Fables #143 is a great comic that may not be easily accessible to new readers, but veteran readers will likely enjoy the drama and buildup provided in this issue.

Review of Fairest #28

jun140302

The Fables creative team has a synergy that is inspiring.  For years, writer Bill Willingham has crafted epic stories about fairytale characters exiled from their fantasy lands and forced to live secretly in our own mundane world; his stories have been nicely illustrated with charm and skill by artistic collaborator Mark Buckingham.  It’s an exciting jolt to the status quo to see Mark Buckingham put down his artist’s pencil and take up the writer’s pen for a tale set in the pages of Fables spinoff comic Fairest, which showcases the adventures of the female Fables characters.

Fairest #28 continues the explore the plight of the Fables living on the Farm.  Located in upstate New York, the Farm is the place where all the fairytale characters that can’t pass for humans are forced to reside – talking birds and anthropomorphic sunflowers live their lives in forced isolation, so as not to alert humanity to the presence of these magical exiles.

The only way for these strange creatures to leave the Farm is to receive a magical glamour that gives them a human appearance.  The problem is that these glamours are rare and difficult to produce, and not all Farm residents are as lucky as Reynard the Fox, who received a glamour and now transforms regularly between his fox and human forms in service to the Fables community.  However, other Farm residents are seething that the human Fables’ promise to find glamours for all Farm residents has not been kept, and discord runs rampant on the Farm while Reynard unsuccessfully pursues romance with Snow White; Reynard is soon exiled to a farm in Louisiana where he begins a romantic relationship with a beautiful-but-troubled non-fairytale female character.  Meanwhile, the leadership of the Fables community announces a lottery to allocate a limited number of glamours to the non-human Fables.

Buckingham’s story departs from the usual practice in Fairest to focus on female protagonists, instead showcasing the male Reynard and his hijinks.  Artist Russell Braun – with help from colorist Andrew Dalhouse –  illustrates the story with great skill.  The story is not overly accessible to new readers, but can be enjoyed by both new and veteran readers.