Bill Willingham’s groundbreaking Vertigo series ‘Fables’ is closing in on what readers can only hope will be a ‘Happily Ever After’. Issue #150 will be an extra-sized finale of the series which chronicles the exploits of Snow White, Bigby Wolf (The Big Bad Wolf, in human form), Cinderella, Beauty & The Beast, Pinocchio and other fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters after they were chased from their idyllic Homeland and were forced to dwell in Manhattan.
The book was a breakout hit, and like many other Vertigo titles, tapped into new markets, particularly women who had never read comics before. It spawned numerous spin-offs including the current anthology series ‘Fairest’ which will end shortly before ‘Fables’ #150 arrives in 2015.
On his website, Willingham stated:
“After more than ten years of publication, and hundreds of issues of Fables, and various Fables-related works, I have decided the time has come to begin the process of bringing our sweeping story to a close. And, along the way, I’ve decided to retire from a great deal of my comics work.
Retirement in the storytelling trade means, still working and writing every day, but being a bit more selective in what projects I take on. Pushing 60, I thought it would be a good time to start making concrete plans for those remaining good writing years.”
So this isn’t a cancellation by any means. Willingham is simply taking a step back and relaxing during the time that many other people retire from their jobs.
‘Fables’ is still being developed as a feature film, so we may still see that. And though Willingham is essentially retiring, the possibility to revisit this story is possible. “I will make one promise — the ending of this will not be everyone dies. (A reference to spin-off series ‘Jack of Fables’)… The possibility is open to revisit those characters from time to time, later on, down the road after we’ve had some time away to kind of re-evaluate things. I hate to continuously draw parallels to ‘Sandman‘, but just like Neil [Gaiman] coming back from time to time to do new little things with ‘Sandman’ here and there, I think that’s the way to approach any possibility of doing more ‘Fables’ in the future, as just special revisit types of things.”
And what can fan expect of the final arc of this sweeping series? “The main plotline of the final arc will deal with what’s happening with Snow and Bigby and a new conflict involving Rose Red, in a very definite way. And that’s as much as I want to say about that.” But he went on to reveal, “The issue that just came out, issue #134, had clues about what the final, big saga is going to be about. I will tease the end by saying that the clues are right there in front of you right now.”
Let the speculation begin! Though I will be sad to see ‘Fables’ go, at least it wasn’t cancelled. The creators simply wished to wrap things up and move on. Better that than letting it drone on and lose what made it special.
Sound off below if you love ‘Fables’!