It’s not too often that an unexpected treasure falls into my lap, but that is exactly what happened when a digital copy of Fables for Japan, Book Three appeared in my inbox. After talking to one of the contributors, Chris Johnson, it was clear from his passion for the project that I must investigate further. Boy I’m glad that I did! Due to the sheer number of different creators and styles of content, it would not be practical to comment to each individual story or contribution. Therefore I have offered a brief overview of the general content and style of the book.
The book is a collection of thirty six unique stories from forty creators, spread over 157 pages. Due to the fact that many of these pages are largely text, it’s a nice weighty volume that will offer plenty of substantial content for the reader. From the highly polished cover to the last page, this book oozes quality and style. The thing that struck me most about this book was the many different forms of storytelling on offer. There are traditional sequential comic book pages, watercolor paintings, illustrated texts, poems and short stories. Whatever style of storytelling you prefer, this book has it covered. Each chapter of the book offers something different and while each part fits together well, it’s impressive that there is no crossover of content and each section has a unique feel.
There is always a fear that a collaboration of this magnitude won’t deliver a coherent and well crafted book. Thankfully the editing by project creator Jason Minor and his team is on point and he blends it together with skill and finesse. Not once did I feel like something was out of place or forced. To read this book was a pleasure and a lovely change of pace from the norm. After reading this book, I have been left feeling refreshed, challenged and uplifted. I can’t wait to read books one and two.
On top of all the great writing and beautiful artwork, this book has a great story and message surrounding the making of it. The books have been crafted with the purpose of raising both money and awareness to help the brave people of Japan that were devastated by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. The book opens with a haunting introduction by Laurie Greasley who offers a unique and personal point of view from his own experiences during the quakes. The book’s creators have already donated large sums of money to the ongoing fund and more donations are planned for the future. There will be a Kickstarter program coming soon that will allow for a printed version of all three books in one volume. Sales from this will also help the fund raising program. I think that this work would benefit greatly from moving into printed format as the artwork would really shine on paper and it would make a great collectors piece on any book shelf.
You can order digital downloads of all three books from the projects website http://www.fables4japan.com. I would highly recommend this book and it will appeal to a large audience. If you are looking for a book with great writing, dazzling artwork, beautifully crafted stories and thought provoking content, then this is for you.