In the first volume of this Eisner-nominated series, we learned that our beloved fairy-tale characters had been driven from their magical lands by the Adversary and forced to take refuge in the mundane world- Manhattan, to be exact. Those who can pass for human (like quarreling sisters Snow White and Rose Red) live in the city. Those who cannot–the Three Little Pigs, Reynard the Fox, and many others–live hidden from mortal eyes on a huge farm in upstate New York. While the Fable government tries to make life as pleasant as possible at the Farm, a revolution is brewing- a revolution that should look familiar to fans of George Orwell. Egged on by Goldilocks and her violent, revolutionary rhetoric, the Three Little Pigs are plotting a coup. Why should the human-looking Fables control their destinies? And when will the Fables rise up to take back their lands?
Animal Farm is even better than its predecessor, Legends in Exile. Willingham continues to develop his concept of a fairy-tale Diaspora, exploring the Fables’ politics, history, and relationships, while telling one heck of a tale. Fables is literate, funny, and surprising. Like Legends in Exile, Animal Farm is appropriate for older teens; the story necessitates some depiction of violence and the characters use a few bad words. I highly recommend both volumes of Fables for teen or adult library collections. Like the best fairy tales, it continues to amaze me.