One of the most successful comic book series that came out of the now defunct Vertigo Comics, the mature imprint of DC Comics, was the long-running, award-winning fantasy series, Fables.
Created and written by Bill Willingham with the majority of art by fan favourite Mark Buckingham, Fables took public-domain characters and settings from numerous fairy tale stories we’d most remember from our childhood and wove them into a new and modern, fantastic tale of good and evil full of adventure, action, mystery, politics, heroes, adversaries and love.
Truly, under Willingham, Fables was Vertigo Comics’ foremost and most critically acclaimed publication following the conclusion of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series.
Within the near decade and a half of original Fables comic book publications which included 150 monthly issues, graphic novels, a prose book, specials, spin-offs and a video game, you’ll find fascinating interpretations of the Big Bad Wolf, Snow White, Rose Red, Pinocchio, Prince Charming and many more. Willingham would also incorporate characters from non-European fables and reaching into American-centric and Arabian-centric fables, broadening his Fables fantasy world while also expanding the comic book’s fanbase and global reach. Storylines told of conflicts between famous literary characters as they attempted to live their lives and hide their existence from the real world while also protecting themselves and each other from the return of a dastardly adversary.
During its publication history, Fables went on to win fourteen Eisner Awards while also being nominated for multiple Hugo Awards.
Today, after issue #150 which was originally published in 2015 – where “once upon a time” was “for the very last time”, the next chapter of Fables begins, this time under DC’s more mature Black Label banner!
Just in time for the 20th anniversary of its launch, Fables #151 begins a twelve-part monthly tale and sees the return of series creator/writer Bill Willingham (Elementals, Shadowpact, Robin, Jack of Fables) and artist Mark Buckingham (Marvelman, John Constantine: Hellblazer, Shade The Changing Man). It’s a fantastic continuation in the lives of favourite characters and it’s also a great jumping on point for new readers as we learn the whereabouts and life circumstances of everyone’s favourite protagonists, a long-thought dead character returns and a new and powerful adversary makes their presence known.
One thing is for certain: Fables will be a wonderful and fantastical read for all of us over the next twelve months.
If you’re interested in a great overview of the series and its historic importance to both comic book publishing and pop culture in general during the early part of this twenty-first century, DC Comics has put together a great Everything You Need To Know About Fables column. No real spoilers here!
In the meantime, blow your horn loudly Little Boy (and Little Girl) Blue…and make the run to your local comic book shop to pick up Fables #151 today!