Werewolves of the Heartland by Bill Willingham
Werewolves of the Heartland by Bill Willingham with art by Craig Hamilton and Jim Fern

Genre: Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Series: Original Graphic Novel related to the Fables series
Publisher: Vertigo
Publication Date: 212
Pages: 179
Source: Library

The Book:
From the publisher:

Bigby Wolf takes center stage in what might be the most action-packed FABLES story to date. Bigby embarks on a quest through the American Heartland to find a new location for Fabletown. In his wanderings, Bigby stumbles across a small town named Story City, that, amazingly enough, seems to be populated by werewolves. Who are they and where did they come from? They aren’t Fables, but they sure aren’t normal mundys. They seem to already know and revere Bigby, but at the same time they’ve captured and caged him – but why? Unravelling the many mysteries of Story City may cost Bigby more than his life.

My Thoughts:
I expected to love this. Bigby Wolf is one of my favorite characters in the Fables world and a graphic novel featuring him should have been right up my alley. Unfortunately, it missed a bit.

It’s an original graphic novel that was published after Volume 17 Inherit the Wind. It’s not strictly after that book and it’s not crucial to the overall Fables story. It’s a side trip (literally) featuring Bigby. He ends up in a town founded by someone Bigby met when they worked together during World War II. The town is populated by werewolves so it’s not a hard leap of logic that Bigby’s old friend is a werewolf too.

The story just never fully grabbed me. I enjoyed the flashback to Bigby’s time in World War II the most. The present-day story was just not the usual Fables fare for me. Bigby as a wolf works. Bigby’s blood spawning a race of werewolves (who all look like Bigby’s old friend and his former Nazi scientist wife) didn’t make a lot of sense to me.

The artwork was also a disappointment. It was mostly pale colors and pastels. It just didn’t fully work to draw me in to the story. I’m used to bold and vivid colors in the Fables books and their spinoffs.

It’s a spinoff. It’s not crucial to the ongoing Fables story. There were parts I liked but there were enough parts I didn’t like to make this just average.

Rating 2.5/5