Disassembly: Fables

fables_original02.0819b999ac203c376de04633c0519721dThis page comes from a mid-story segment in Fables comics, and contains spoilers for the series. Bigby Wolf arrived at the last minute to save Fabletown from the invading minions of the Adversary. Snow White, pregnant with his children (He’s a lycanthorope, so he has a human form), runs up to hug him and thank him for saving them while King Cole (Mayor of Fabletown) and Flycatcher (Based on the Frog Prince) observe in the background. In my edit, I removed all of the text from the scene and cut out the surrounding border. In doing so, a lot of interesting dialogue could be put in its place. King Cole and Flycatcher could be thinking this lady is crazy for hugging the wolf that destroyed their city. The comic still seems to hold a semblance of its original idea, but it loses its coherence just from the sheer fact that the scene makes no sense without the context. This is a critique on the comic as a whole for being a little niche. Unless someone has been keeping up with the comics to this point, they will be confused by what is going on, even if the comic had the text applied to it. Without, this flaw becomes very obvious. This comic ran as a serial, as in it ran individual issues, so anyone could have picked this issue up at any time and started reading. They would have been really confused because a page or two after this image, Bigby (in wolf form no less) tells Snow to be careful because of their “cubs” (yes they call them that) and then there would have been a witch hunt for the creators. This is just proof as to why comics have certain ways of catering to new readers, because they understand that their work could be taken heavily out of context at the drop of a hat. They make note to previous issues, give recaps at the beginning of new issues to bring old and new readers up to speed on why the coming events are happening, and they sometimes reiterate old information just for the sake of the new readers (and if you have a collection, you’ll notice how frequently they use this kind of exposition). This dissassembly showed me how crucial context is to a comic; if you’re a long time reader, the story can be gathered just by the images if the text is missing. If you’re a new reader, you might read the situation incorrectly and it could ruin your enjoyment of the comic altogether.