MTVG-fables

Earlier this week, news broke that the production company behind the Harry Potter films had acquired the film rights to Bill Willingham's well-loved Fables series, and was moving forward on a big-screen adaptation of the property.

The premise of Fables is that all mythological characters exist alongside one another, and become the basis of legends and folk tales as they move in the background of the real world.  This style of fairytale mash-up has become increasingly popular in recent years: Shrek, Hoodwinked, and other similar movies have seen huge box office success; Grimm and Once Upon A Time are gearing up for their third seasons on NBC and ABC; and the grandfather of them all, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's seminal 1987 Broadway musical Into The Woods is finally headed for a big-screen adaptation after nearly two decades of development.

But what makes Fables special is the depth of characterization, the scale of the narrative (with more than thirty-five different books currently in print), and the variety of threads that it weaves into a cohesive whole – including elements of Mother Goose, The Arabian Nights, L. Frank Baum's Oz books, Brothers Grimm stories, and many, many other fantasy creations. Read More...

Unwritten 50

By Matt D. Wilson

Next month, the worlds Vertigo's of "Fables" and "The Unwritten" will collide, as the lead character of "The Unwritten," Tom Taylor, comes into contact with some of Fabletown's residents.

In advance of the release of the first part of a five-part arc in June 26's "The Unwritten" #50, MTV Geek chatted with that series' writer, Mike Carey, and "Fables" writer Bill Willingham to see how it all came together.

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fairest14_crop

"Fables" creator Bill Willingham returns to spin-off series "Fairest" with issue 14 and we've got a look at some of Barry Kitson's interior art.

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While some wonder aloud if the future of Vertigo proper is in doubt -- with the relatively recent exit of Karen Berger, the cancellations of several titles, and the exodus of certain characters like John Constantine to the DCU -- the imprint ups the ante with a May crossover of two of its most popular ongoing titles, "The Unwritten" and "Fables."

Details are sketchy regarding the crossover event, other than that it will start with "The Unwritten" #50 and will feature Tom Taylor and Bigby Wolf. DC also released this promo art, by Peter Gross and Mark Buckingham with colors by Chris Chuckry: Read More...

Let's get this first bit out of the way: Once Upon A Time isn't Fables nor is it trying to be Bill Willingham's comic. There was no small amount of fuss when the series was first announced by ABC which Willingham was even kind enough to defuse by saying that beyond the superficial similarities of two concepts that are at their core "fairy tales in the real world," Once Upon A Time creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis were doing their own thing.

Indeed: where Willingham was creating a long-form political drama leading to a war, Horowitz and Kitsis are dealing in soap opera here (albeit compulsively watchable soap opera). In spite of a collection of unrestrained, sometimes hammy performances, the occasional bit of dodgy CG, and no small amount of camp, Once Upon A Time is actually a very well-structured drama with an action-adventure heart.
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Sure, Jason Bourne might have redefined the spy genre on screen, but in comics, those wily secret intelligence agents have been goofing around for years. Here’s five of our favorite comic book secret agents:
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Last week, DC Comics released the first issue of Before Watchmen, the eagerly anticipated (anticipation can be both negative and positive, folks) prequel to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen. And though we actually liked the first issue quite a bit, there’s still a larger question of the necessity of the project. Are prequels necessary at all? Are comic books? Is entertainment? These questions are too big for us to answer…

…So instead, we put together a list of ten prequel projects we’d actually love to see – and would probably be far less controversial, and more welcome to the comic book industry as a whole than Before Watchmen:

1. Before Superman

Okay, there’s actually a precedent for this one: there’s already been two series called “World of Krypton,” focusing on key moments in Superman’s home planet’s history, and showing how they led to one little baby getting rocketed to Earth. The more recent one was even written by John Byrne and Mike Mignola, and is considered one of the best Superman stories ever told. But this is a well we could, potentially, keep returning to; and particularly with DC’s whole universe rebooted for the New 52, a title focusing on the ongoing adventures of Jor-El and his family might be an exciting look at an alien culture.
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Ah, the comic book wedding. Whether it’s Archie marrying Veronica, or Archie marrying Betty, or Archie marrying literally any other character in Riverdale who isn’t already hitched, we can’t get enough of our big romantic events. And superheroes make it even more fun, mixing powers with flowers in a heady mix of big emotion and - often - big action.

Coming up soon, we’ll get to see what craziness hits the newly engaged couple Northstar and his boyfriend Kyle, when they get married in Marvel Comics’ Astonishing X-Men #51. But until then, here’s the top ten superhero weddings of all time:

10. Spider-Man and Mary Jane

Despite having quite possibly the most iconic wedding cover of all time (and one of the best Spider-Man covers, ever), the issue inside is rushed, and focused far more of Mary Jane’s lack of decisiveness than any particular romance. That’s probably because the relationship itself was famously sped up in the comics, so that they could have Peter and MJ get married before they tied the knot in the Spider-Man newspaper strip. The same thing happened with Andy Capp, too. Not really. Read More...


“The Game of Chaos” illustration by Yehudi Mercado of Super Mercado.

The nominees for The Hugo Awards  -- essentially the Oscars or Grammys of the sci-fi world -- were announced this Saturday. Noms were given to Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, and, well, Martin Scorsese's Hugo. The biggest surprise in the bunch? A nod to the Community episode "Remedial Chaos Theory" for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form. Read More...

The most shocking thing about Fairest #1, the new spin-off title from Vertigo’s hit Fables, is that no women at all appear in the book until Page 13. And at that, there’s only one line the entire issue from a member of the fairer sex. Given that this is supposed to be a spotlight book, showcasing the ladies of the Fables Universe? That’s downright weird.

That’s not to say that it isn’t also a rollicking good adventure tale, filled with all the humor, creativity, and stellar art Fables fans have come to expect from Bill Willingham’s mini-empire of fair tale based comics. The book looks superb, with some of the best art from the already not-too-shabby Phil Jiminez we’ve seen in years. Credit to the whole team, including Andy Lanning on inks, and Andrew Dalhouse on colors… From the ruins of a major Homeland city on Page 2, to the reveal on Page 13, Fairest is gobsmackingly beautiful. Read More...

It’s Valentine’s Week, and what do we love more than comics? MORE COMICS. So let’s get to it, shall we?

How do you top one of the best single issues of Batman, well... Ever? We’re not sure yet, but writer Scott Snyder, artist Greg Capullo and company have set the bar insanely high leading into this week’s BATMAN #6. Will they raise it again? Will Batman even be alive to see it be raised? Will the Court of Owl’s terrifying ability to turn their heads three hundred sixty degrees finally be revealed? We’ll just have to pick up the issue and find out! You too, okay?

Other offering from DC include the always excellent BIRDS OF PREY #6, which pits new New 52 character Starling against her teammates; WONDER WOMAN #6, continuing a story where Diana fights giant seahorses and somehow its still very exciting; and over on the Vertigo side, FABLES #114 continues being Fables, so either you’re going to get it or your not, the end.

Marvel, meanwhile, leads with THEIR two best superhero titles: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #679.1, and DAREDEVIL #9. The former has something to do with Morbius The Living Vampire, which is always a good time; while the latter has the Man Without Fear heading below ground to fight the Mole Man and snag the bodies of his dead parents. They also have superb covers, and we always recommend judging books by their covers.

Also coming out? IDW’s STEPHEN KING & JOE HILL: ROAD RAGE #1, which is one of the stranger projects we’ve seen, as it adapts into comic book form the Father/Son pair of writer’s take on Richard Matheson’s Duel. There’s solid pedigree all around on this, but even if there wasn’t we’d want to pick it up out of pure fascination.

Over at Image, there’s the equally interesting World War II take on Peter Pan, PETER PANZERFAUST #1, which our good buddy Charles Webb reviewed way back. And at BOOM!, you’ve got ROGER LANGRIDGE’S SNARKED #5, which is the brilliant artist/writer’s riff on Wonderland. Between the two - and ROAD RAGE - you should have more than enough “modern takes on older tales!” to satisfy whatever urge it is that satisfies!

And that’s it! For reading to the bottom, we can now tell you that you are totally our Valentine. We’ll see you next week, sweetie.

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Whenever someone asks, “What should I give the woman in my life who doesn’t read comic books, but wants to get started?” And the answer is always, “Sandman!” But there are other options, aren’t there? Other comics that will sell a new reader or any gender (but, you know, specifically the ladies)? For sure, friends! And lucky you, here’s a list of 10 fabulous comic book gifts for members of the fairer sex that are more off the beaten path:

For The Woman Who Has Gotten Tired of Disney Movies…

Fables

Bill Wllingham’s long running, ongoing Vertigo series mixes fairy tale characters into real life New York for a heady mix of humor, adventure, and intrigue starring Snow White and a detective named Bigby Wolf (get it?)… It might sound like certain TV shows currently on the air, but trust us, it’s way better than they are.

For The Woman Who Likes The Horror…

Locke & Key

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Art from the upcoming A Flight of Angels by artist Rebecca Guay

By Elizabeth Keenan

If you're eager to find out what edgy new comics and graphic novels DC's Vertigo imprint has coming out over the next year, the Vertigo Visions panel at New York Comic Con offered a full slate of talent and a spate of announcements, including digital titles going day and date.

Berger first discussed the already-announced end to Jason Aaron and R.M. Guéra’s critically acclaimed Scalped, describing it as “on a short list of the best things we’ve done.” Aaron was on hand to describe the final arc of the series, in which “quite a few people meet their demise.”

“Things that have been brewing for five years are coming to an end,” he said. The final arc, “Trail’s End,” will conclude next spring.

The cover to the original Vertigo graphic novel A.D.D.

Next up, Berger announced A.D.D., a new series by Douglas Rushkoff, starting in January, 2012. Rushkoff described the project as answering a hypothetical question. Read More...

It’s Wednesday again (I know, right?), so it means its time for new comic books! Hooray! Get rid of those old comic books, they’re stale and musty you guys.

Anyway, it’s a lighter week for us, with a few stand-outs. Right at the top of our pull list is DAREDEVIL #2. The first issue got our coveted pick of the month, and for good reason: it’s a beautiful, extremely well written book that reeks of brilliance from top to bottom. If the second issue is half as good… Well, it won’t be as good. But it’ll still be one of the best comics ever made, and we don’t expect writer Mark Waid and friends to let us down. Oh, and if you missed the first issue? Waid a few of Marvel’s editors cleverly recorded an audio version of the book, which you can download for free. That’s awesome.

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Getting into a comic book mid-way through its run is hard! So we’ve made it easy for you: in just five short minutes (or less), we’ll get you caught up on a comic book you need to pick up tomorrow… Today! Oh, and in case it wasn’t clear: spoilers on.

Fables should be one of the easier titles we’ve had to cover for the Five-Minute Recap. Sure, Vertigo is releasing its one hundred and third issue this Wednesday, but the central premise is simple to explain: every character from every story ever lived together in a fantastical land, until driven out by the Adversary, a terrifying being who forced them to live in our non-magical world with regular people, (also know as “Mundies.”)

Though this is still true, writer Bill Willingham made a seismic change to the series in issue seventy-five, when the Fables finally beat the Adversary, revealed to be a bitter, angry Geppeto (yup, the carpenter from Pinocchio) and regained control of their Homelands. Rather than end the series here – the original plan – Willingham decided to see what would happen next… Which turned out to be very, very bad for our fantastical friends. With the Adversary out of power, magical items that were previously protected were left without guards, and various beasties got loose.

The worst of these is Mr. Dark, an actual, physical representation of the fear of the dark given life. Mr. Dark sucks the life essence from Mundies, and likes to eat their teeth, which is gross. And though he was beaten in combat by the Fables once before, he wasn’t beaten down for good. Teaming up with the bitter, angry wife of Jack Sprat, Mr. Dark has gone on a journey back to the Homelands to take revenge on the Fables who still live there.

Meanwhile! Jack Sprat’s wife is in New York City, which has been turned into a smoke filled, grey wasteland filled with stumbling zombies who go about their days ignoring each other, doing nothing but their sad little jobs. So in other words: every day in new York. Just kidding! Sort of.

The rest of the Fables are split between two locations. One is The Farm, a secret place upstate for Fables who can’t mingle with human society (Snow White can hang out in Times Square, but the Three Little Pigs might have a problem). The other is Haven, a kingdom in the Homelands where refugee Fables, and goblins who defected from the Adversary’s army live together in harmony, protected by the magic of their king, Flycatcher (long story). Read More...

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