FAB Breakout Book 1: Mad World is an anthology series set in the world of Max Gadney and Storyworlds’ Fab. The volume is edited by Steve White with letters by Taylor Esposito. “Felicity’s Furry Friends” is written by Helen Mullane with art from Vasilis Lolos. “Look, Ma” is by Murewa Ayodele and Adeotun Akande. “Cheap Meal” is by Ramzee and Fernando Pinto. “I Need a Hero” is by Anne Toole and Connor Boyle. “FAB Play” is by Kek-W and Yishan Li. “FABrophobia” is by Liam Johnson and Gabbie Scanlon. “Baby Boom” is by Leonie Moore and Kelsey Ramsey with colors from Lou Ashworth. “FABbin’ in the Woods” is by Ned Harley and Dan Boulton. “Avatara” is by John Tomlinson and Amoona Saohin. And “Shifts” is by Jarred Luján and Alexey Ivanov with colors from Sergei Titov.
Truly, FAB Breakout Book 1 is an incredible anthology. While it is set in a world explored and explained in a previous volume, there is no need to have read it to absolutely love this anthology. All you need to know is that the stories are set in the near future where an illegal and underground technology called FAB allows people to basically 3D print anything they can dream of. The only somewhat comical rules are that you can’t FAB a FAB machine, organic FABs don’t last forever, and it never works out well when you try to FAB yourself for sex. Otherwise though, the world is your oyster. And wow does this anthology nail the presentation of endless possibilities.
There isn’t a single story in here that won’t have you feeling deeply, laughing hard, or pondering some great moral quandary. No matter which tone the story takes though, they are all equally impressive in their narrative and their art. No story is more than ten pages and while some use more text than others, they all manage to convey a whole world’s worth of meaning in such a short sliver of story. And they flow flawlessly together too. While they may take place in different times or parts of the world, you get a definite sense of consistency throughout the anthology.
The art style varies from story to story, but always perfectly matches the tone. Cute stories have cute art with bright colors and hyper-stylization, while creepier stories have darker and more minimalistic approaches, for example. Each style is totally unique and most had me looking up the artists to find more of their work, as a good anthology should. The lettering throughout the book is distinct for each story, which is impressive considering one letterer wrote the whole book. The fonts always match the atmosphere rather than settling for something neutral across every story.
What I love most about FAB Breakout Book 1, though, is just how much every story made me go “oh wow, what a creative use of the FAB in this story.” Every single time it just felt like such a genius idea, whether it was a kid creating friends for herself, a monster story, some body horror, self-defense, or just totally wacky uses. I finished most stories thinking of my own FAB stories and how I’d either use one myself or the creative situations I’d create in a story with one. It felt like exactly what the purpose of a good anthology is meant to be and I loved every moment of it.
FAB Breakout Book 1: Mad World is available November 3rd via Kindle.
FAB Breakout Book 1: Mad World
It felt like exactly what the purpose of a good anthology is meant to be and I loved every moment of it.