Bill Willingham and The Hollywood Reporter are saying that ABC has green-lit a pilot for a fantasy series based off of Willingham’s comic book series, Fables. Wow. This could be the awesomest thing on television since Batman: The Animated Series. Or it could be terri-bad, but I’m going to focus on being optimistic!
The hour-long series is written by Stu Zicherman and Raven Metzner and directed by David Semel. Willingham himself has had no involvement with the project thus far (getting harder to stay optimistic!).
If you’re unfamiliar with the book (shame on you!), Fables focuses on characters from traditional fairy-tales and their lives in a secluded section of modern-day New York City. While the premise may sound childish, the book is anything but. I bought the first trade for my mom for Christmas last year. And she LIKED it. Or so she told me, she may have just been being nice…..
Cover of the 9th Fables collection, Sons of the Emplre, courtesy of DC Comics
The first story arc in the series is about the Fables’ sheriff Bigby (the reformed and shape-shifted Big-Bad-Wolf) and his investigation into the gory murder of Snow White’s lesser known sister, Rose Red. His initial suspect is her boyfriend, Jack of the Tales (the Beanstalk climber, Jack be Nimble, Jack Frost…).
In addition to WIllingham’s excellent storytelling abilities, the book also features two of the best artists working in the industry today, Mark Buckingham (who is a REALLY nice guy in person) and James Jean (who is almost as nice). Buckingham handles the interior art and amazing page borders on and book and Jean is in charge of covers for the book. Unfortunately, Jean’s run on the covers is almost through, but there’s a book featuring his beautiful and multiple-eiser-award winning work out.
The series has run for over 75 issues already and Willingham says he’s got stories and plans for quite a while longer, so the televsion show should have a fertile catalogue of material to work with. If thousands of years of folklore and myth wasn’t enough….