I read The Last Castle yesterday evening. This prequel to the current stories in the Fables series is a stand alone comic, or ‘mini graphic novel’. I like it because not only was the story and artwork really good, but there were no advertisements in it.

Snow White starts the narrative off by asking Boy Blue why some of the fables (including himself) go off on a particular night every year and get wasted. Thus begins the story… Back when the adversary was killing off all the fables, there was only one safe place left for them to seek refuge: the last castle. The adversary arrived one day with a mega-horde of troupes and a battle closely resembling the second Lord of the Rings movie ensues. What happens then? You’ll have to dish out the $5.95 at your local comic book shop to find out.

This is a surprisingly sad story that can be read on its own, for those not following the regular series. It’s also a treat to have P. Craig Russell on board for this issue as inker. He’s done a lot of work in the Sandman series, he had the special treat of illustrating the story of Death in ‘Endless Nights’, he illustrated Gaiman’s graphic novel ‘Murder Mysteries’ and he has own collection of adapted stories called ‘Isolation and Illusion’. Oh, and he also draws the short story ‘The Golden Apples of the Sun’ in the new Ray Bradbury graphic novel. He’s probably done hundreds of other things, but that all I can think of at the moment.

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