Feb 1, 2012

Review: Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love by Chris Roberson

Book cover of Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love by Chris Roberson and Shawn McManus
Title: Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love [Amazon|GoodReads]
Author: Chris Roberson (Writer) [Website|Twitter] and Shawn McManus (Artist)
Additional Credits: Lee Loughridge (Colorist), Todd Klein (Letterer), Bill Willingham (Consultant), and Chrissie Zullo (Original Series Covers)
Standing: 1st installment of a Fables (created by Bill Willingham) spin-off.
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fairy Tale, Spy
Published: August 10th, 2010 by Vertigo
Format: Paperback; 144 pages.  
Source: Borrowed from my local library.
Spoilers!:  This review contains some minor spoilers for the Fables series, as does the book itself.  Chronologically, this story takes place after Fables: War and Pieces (#11).  So go read those first!

I know what you’re thinking people...This is all very From Russia With Love. And you’re right! Cinderella has come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass...and she’s all out of bubble gum.

Cinderella is Fabletown’s #1 bad ass spy.  She’s so skilled in skulduggery she makes Bond look like an amateur.  Recruited by then sheriff, Bigby Wolf, shortly after escaping the Homelands with Prince Charming, Cinderella has had mundy (that is mundane--aka us boring humans) lifetime’s to perfect her skills.  She operates under Bigby’s number one rule of combat:  Being the unarmed opponent in a fight isn’t necessarily a disadvantage...and if you really need a weapon, the other guy’s got one you can have.

To the average Fabletown citizen, Cinderella is the jet-setting owner of “The Glass Slipper”, the local shoe shop.  She spends far too little time there working, and far too much gallivanting across the globe spending money she doesn’t seem to have.  To a select few, she is Fabletown’s top off the books spy, called in when situations are too big or too delicate to be handled by the Tourists (the on the books spies).  

After hundreds of years, the good Fables residing in the mundy world have defeated the evil adversary and are no longer at war with the Homelands, but the resulting upheaval has brought up its own share of problems for Fabletown.  Unregistered magical goods have been popping up around the globe, and are falling into mundy hands.  Astoundingly dangerous, one magical cookpot used wrong, and the whole world could drown in oatmeal (um...yuck!).  Cinderella is sent to investigate; she sets off with some magical goods of her own, and along the way teams up with another rags-to-riches Fable-turned-spy looking out for the interests of his own city (can you guess who?).  Meanwhile, back at The Glass Slipper, there’s something very “Red Shoes” going on if you know what I mean.

If you enjoyed Cindy’s previous Fables exploits in “Cinderella Libertine” (issue 22), “Big and Small” (issue 51) and “Skulduggery” (issue 71-72), then you’ll love Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love.  I’m so happy to say this spin-off was a success!  I’m always wary of spin-offs, and have avoided Jack of the Fables like the plague since Jack is by far my least favorite Fables character.  Roberson manages to give Cindy (and others) a tone so similar to Willingham’s treatment, you hardly realize it’s a different author.  McManus’s art is his own, but in a way that easily evokes the images off all the characters we know and love.  Cinderella doesn’t have the depth of the original Fables, but for the full-on addict that I have become, it was just the thing!  Wrapped up in a neat little package, Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love is an excellent read for Fables fans.  Plus there’s hotness.  Did I mention the hotness?
I don’t believe in Happily Ever After.  Not anymore.  

But if the best I can do is Happily For the Moment, then it’ll have to do.

Hey, it beats sitting in cinders and ashes, right?
I’ll say.  

Finally, every Fables fan I know has a total crush on the cover art of James Jean.  Well hold onto your pants kids, because Cinderella comes complete with a new cover artist, Chrissie Zullo, ready to fight for a place in your heart.  Considering Zullo lists Jean among her influences, I’m feeling a steamy love triangle coming on!

issue cover from Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love by Chrissie Zullo issue cover from Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love art by Chrissie Zullo issue cover from Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love art by Chrissie Zullo

Are these not gorgeous?!  I love the complete lack of strait lines and the largely monochromatic schemes.  I would buy the next trade to see more of Zullo’s covers alone!

Likelihood that I'll be back for more: Cinderella: Fables are Forever, the follow up in this series is set to come out in April, and I’ll be at the front of the line.  

Recommended for: Fans of Fables, Bond, and bas ass chicks.  Those who don’t believe in Happily Ever After, but do believe in themselves.

Real life repercussions of reading this book:  I need to start working out now if I’m going to perfect that kick move in this short mundy lifetime.  Also--anyone know who you need to contact to get a hang gliding skirt?


  1. Why don't I have this in my possession right now?? Also I love this art! I am so conflicted now...

    1. You should get it when you're missing Fables the most. It's a fluff story as far as the main series is concerned, but it's a lot of fun.


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