The annual Fables panel at the San Diego Comic-Con played to a full house on Saturday, largely thanks to a scheduling snafu that had many fans waiting for the Venture Brothers and Adult Swim panel that would be happening in the same room right after it.
After some not so gentle ribbing from Fables creator Bill Willingham about getting the Venture Brothers fans to read a book, the panel went into full swing. The best thing about the SDCC Fables panel is that every year the creators give away a one-page story that is only available at the panel. This yearâ€™s story is a prophecy told to Ambrose, one of Snow Whiteâ€™s and Bigby Wolfâ€™s children, and according to Willingham, the story sets up everything that will happen in the book after Issue #100. This was reason enough for me to come to this panel, but fortunately, there was plenty of news to go around.
The big item that was being pushed by the panel was the forthcoming Fables prose novel, Peter & Max. The novel, which will be out in October and will cost about 23 bucks for 400 pages, deals with the adventures of Peter Piper and Max Piper (also known as the Pied Piper). The novel, written by Willingham, will feature illustrations by Steve Leialoha, as well as an 8-page comics story that will tie the novel into the regular series. The art shown at the panel looks great, and as a Fables fan, this is one Iâ€™m eagerly anticipating.
The creators also showed some art from the next Fables story arc, which is titled â€œWitchesâ€ and promises some big action. One cover showed that Beauty and the Beast will soon be expecting a baby, and also that we can expect a big show down with Baba Yaga. The creators also said that down the road, we will see an issue written by regular artist Mark Buckingham, and drawn by Willingham, which should be interesting, and said that big changes are on the way in time for Issue 100, which will be 100 pages long.
Big changes are also in store for the Fables spin-off series, Jack of Fables, as the previous main character of Jack Horner will be replaced by his son, Jack Frost. The creators said that the series will take on a more serious tone, but hopefully, they wonâ€™t take it too seriously, and that we can still expect Jack Horner to show up from time to time.
Finally, they showed art and covers from a new miniseries coming out in September, titled Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love. This series will focus more on action and spy adventure in the James Bond mold, and will feature Cinderella teaming up with Aladdin. The art is by Shawn McManus.
Finally, the panel previewed some new items that will be available next year. First shown was a new miniseries that will be out in September of 2010, titled Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland. The series will feature Bigby Wolf, and will have art by Jim Fern. Next up is a deluxe hardcover for Fables (in the style of the Y: The Last Man HCâ€™s). In the spring, we will get a mini print set of some of James Jeanâ€™s Fables covers, and the fall will bring us a Snow White and Bigby mini-bust. Any way you slice it, thereâ€™s a lot for Fables fans to look forward to.