Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I think the cloth from his chest represents the attempt to draw all of the poisons out.

Fables 81 came out today. This concludes a story I knew I'd be doing for some years, but kept to myself for most of that time, even keeping it from the editor and the artists until they absolutely had to know.
        What a joy to be able to make long range plans for a story, a series, and the characters within it. For all of the fun of working inside the DCU fictional universe, I don't control that one, and those that do make so many changes, so often, usually on the fly, that long range planning for DCU comics series is almost a wasted effort, and always one fraught with frustration.
        Maybe it's just the way I tick, but my stories need time to grow and ferment, for some really big payoffs later. This issue of Fables contained one of those payoffs, the first seeds of which were planted way back in The Last Castle story.
        On a not entirely unrelated note, take a look at this gorgeous final cover from Fables' long time cover artist James Jean. In addition to its central theme, you can see bits and pieces of his entire run on the covers scattered here and there around the composition. Quite an impressive goodbye. We'll miss you, James, but will continue to follow your amazing work, and the complex and involving stories you continue to tell with it.

13 comments:

Ti Alan Chase said...

Why is James Jean no longer going to be doing the covers?

Bill Willingham said...

He wants to concentrate on fine art from now on, rather than commercial illustration. Looking at the amazing work he's produced lately, I don't begrudge him the move at all. I'll miss him though.

Chris Opperman said...

I was at MoMA last week and there were so many white canvases there and framed stryofoam and crap that I was really offended for James when that wall space could have been dedicated to his gorgeous, gorgeous work.

Ti Alan Chase said...

Just read #81.
Simply stunning.
I loved the conversation with Rose Red.

But . . .
This is the pre-release blurb for #82:
"In this special epilogue to 'The Dark Ages' titled 'Waiting for the Blues,' Boy Blue is back at the Farm, and he and Rose Red have finally had their no-holds-barred, all cards on the table conversation about love and marriage and the possibilities of finally getting together at long last. . ."

Am I correct in assuming that this conversation already happened but was included in the description of #82 to make the ending of #81 a bigger surprise?

Bill Willingham said...

82's blurb was indeed a piece of sinister misdirection to preserve the surprise of what happens in 81.

Ti Alan Chase said...

Well played!

D.J. said...

Everyone was so blown away that nobody has mentioned the death of another beloved fable in this book. No more Kay!!! Maybe he was just beloved by me. Anyway I know people say this a lot but i mean it, Fables is my favorite book, and probably for the very reasons you mentioned you enjoy writing it. It's yours and you can do whatever you want with it. At the big 2 you could never have all this death without expecting them to return, and though you have quite imaginatively brought some folks back, i will not be looking for Blue,Kay, or that rascally Prince Charming to return. But then that is the joy of Fables, just when you think there is nowhere else to go you take me on a whole new trip...

Chris Opperman said...

I think Prince Charming is coming back. Logic would dictate that he jump through the gateway right before it blew, wouldn't it?

Ti Alan Chase said...

I, too, expect Charming to be back.
My guess is that he is waiting for his body to heal.
He is too vain to allow all of Fabletown to see him look like he did after being burned.
I really liked Kay, too, but at least he's still around in some form (what happens if/when Mr. Dark gets access to Kay's all-seeing eyes?), but I'm pretty sure Blue is gone for good - which is as it should be.

DJ, Fables may be your favorite comic book, but it is my ONLY comic book. I quit comics 15 years ago and then Bill had to show up with Fables and drag me back into comic stores all over again!

Brigette said...

I am a grown woman who loves Fables. I had never read a graphic novel before in my life and a friend introduced me to Fables. I got hooked immediately. It's a testament to your talent that they snagged me right away.

That said, I have a request. From an under represented demographic of readers. :) Please bring back Boy Blue. He's my absolute favorite character. Please. I know he's not a well known fable so...but still. Please. Did I say please yet?

Great series, thank you for hours of entertainment. They have made me smile many times on rainy days and sunny ones too.

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Mike Crichton said...

I just read this issue in collected form, so forgive me if you've since answered this question: Is Mr. Dark actually chatting with the spirits of his victims, or is he simply loony? either way, the dialogue is hilarious.