FABLES, The New York Times Bestselling series, Winner of Twelve Eisner Awards, and 2009 Hugo Award Nominee for Best Graphic Story will be available for the first time in a deluxe hardcover volume later this month.
Read Bill Willingham’s intro:Down in the Deep Grand Green Thank you for picking up this deluxe edition of the Fables comic book series. This volume collects the first ten monthly issues of Fables in their entirety, with a few extra tidbits thrown in. As I understand it, about once each year another deluxe Fables volume will follow this one, until (one hopes) the entire sweeping Fables saga is eventually collected. And because our “sweeping Fables saga” is still ongoing, at the rate of one new issue each month, that finish line may be some time coming. And that’s a good thing. I’m not in a hurry to see these stories come to an end. I hope you feel the same. No doubt some of you are veteran Fables readers, who’ve decided to revisit the past stories in this format. To you I don’t have all that much to add to what we’ve already shared together, time and again, over the eight years (and counting) of Fables’ publication — except of course for the one thing that can’t be repeated often enough: Thank you for reading. Thank you, not only for reading these tales once, but coming back to them again. C.S. Lewis used to say, “What good is a book you only want to read once?” I’m grateful that Fables seems to be a series that merits those second and third readings. Thank you also for so often passing your copies and collections on to your friends, husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and the occasional stranger. Your missionary efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. And thank you, gentlewomen and gentlemen, for helping me make my living by telling these tall tales. Devoid of any respectable skills, unable to contribute to society in a meaningful way, and possessed of questionable character, I happily take my humble place among the other scurrilous liars, scoundrels and hoodwinkers of history. But now, having spoken to you familiar and welcome old companions of previous adventures, I wonder if you’d excuse me a moment while I say a word or two to our new readers — to those who’re about to read these first ten Fables issues for the first time. At the time I’ve had to pause in my normal routine to write this introduction, I have just completed the following line of dialogue for the 88th issue of the monthly Fables series: “I’m here because all fairy tales take place in the woods, King Cole, even those that don’t.” Never mind who said those words, or why they were spoken to Old King Cole — yes, that fellow of the merry old soul. It doesn’t matter. What does matter here is that this turns out to be an apt line with which to begin your introduction to the Fables series. Welcome to the woods, where all fairy tales take place —even those that don’t. Fables are fairy tales, folktales, whispered legends and ribald ballads, sung too loud and off-key, but with vigor and purpose. They’re mysteries about things unknown, and perhaps unknowable, but desired, or feared, or both. The woods are and always have been a place of the deepest mysteries, the heart of the unknown. Fables takes place in the woods. Sure, you’ll find out in the very first panel of the very first page that I’ve just told a whopper. Hey, I admitted to being the worst sort of liar not four paragraphs ago. I’ve lied, boldly and bald faced, because anyone can see with a glance that these stories take place in New York City, where our hapless characters are living in secret as refugees. Ah, but the woods are here, dear reader. Since we traffic in fairy tales, we have magic among our bag of tricks. And using such powers we’ve taken those enchanted glades with us, those ancient and venerable stands of oak and ash, yew and hawthorn, bright linden and cursed juniper. We’ve taken them and tarted them up in urban drag — the gaudy dress of stone, steel, plaster and glass. From the very first page, Fables begins in a building called The Woodland, and its hallways are the dark and twisted trails of the deep forest. Its rooms, even the very big ones (and you’ll quickly see that there are impossibly big ones), are close and brooding, with dense green canopies overhead that filter, edit, and rephrase what natural light gets through, until it is very unnatural indeed. The Woodland is a place where you only get to know what we tell you, and you should never trust a fraction of it. It’s a place beyond the fields that you know, where the forgotten old monsters still lurk, and wait, and husband their years, until they can venture out again, stalking new young prey, that probably should have listened to the dotty old timers and heeded their dire warnings. It’s a place where you can spread all the breadcrumbs behind you that you like; you’re still going to get lost. Lost, but not alone. You’re about to meet some old friends that you haven’t seen in a while. You already know their first stories — their adventurous tales from long ago. Now you get to find out what they’ve been up to lately. Some you can trust. Others you should never turn your back on. But isn’t that always the way of things? Welcome to the woods. And now it’s time for our stories to begin. — Bill Willingham 25 June 2009 Written in the Woods