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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 290

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!

Today we look at the brilliant graphic novel that serves as a prelude to the Fables series as a whole, Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall, with a story by Bill Willingham and artwork by a host of classic artists, namely Charles Vess, Michael Kaluta, John Bolton, Mark Buckingham, James Jean, Mark Wheatley, Derek Kirk Kim, Tara McPherson, Esao Andrews, Brian Bolland and Jill Thompson.


Here is how awesome this comic is, Jill Thompson, Esao Andrews, Brian Bolland and Derek Kirk Kim are all great artists…and I’m not even going to bother showing you their artwork!! That’s how good this book is, you get enough greatness from the OTHER artists that it would just be overkill!!

The set-up of the issue is that Snow White is sent as an ambassador from Fabletown (the mystical city where all the various fairy tale characters live who had to escape from their fairy tale lands when an evil Emperor took over their original worlds) to gain help from a powerful Sultan. There she lives out the story of Scheherazade from the classic tale, One Thousand and One Nights, where she must tell a story to keep the Sultan entertained so that he will not kill her.

Vess and Kaluta drew the art for the framing sequence.

Snow White’s stories are all tales of the various cast members of Fables from BEFORE they ended up exiled in Fabletown. Stories from the “good ol’ days,” which, of course, were not really quite so good themselves.

The first tale is a murder mystery from early in the marriage of Prince Charming and Snow White, with artwork by John Bolton…

The Prince finds himself in a position where he wants to protect his subjects against the accusations of the dwarves, while still finding out who has been killing them – the case, naturally, takes a dramatic twist that brings things right to his own doorstep. Really well handled stuff by Willingham.

Mark Buckingham gets a very cute story about Reynard the fox. Buckingham really went all out on the art for this one!

Mark Wheatley handles the story of Bigby Wolf’s transformation from runt to, well, the big bad wolf…

Tara McPherson tell a tale of Snow White and Rose Red meeting a witch (Esao Andrews does the story within the story)…

The highlight of the volume is most likely James Jean’s story, where Willingham and Jean combine to tell the tale of the Frog Prince…

The lighthearted opening just makes the drama that follows all the more heartbreaking. Really just a wonderful twist on the old story.

Then you have the other stories, which I won’t bother telling you about – the point is, you get a lot of great stories by some of the best artists in the business. Why wouldn’t you want to read that?


Tom Fitzpatrick

October 18, 2010 at 5:36 am

This was actually a really good and fun book to read.

You especially find out what that thing about Snow White and the 7 dwarves mentioned way way way back in the good ol’ days of FABLES # 1. A lifetime ago, eh? ;-)

Superb storytelling at its finest by Willingham.

I do believe there’s another such book in the works?

On the one hand, the art is gorgeous, the storytelling is well-executed, and most of the stories are charming and entertaining. It’s as good as Brian says, and one can read 1,001 Nights and understand the stories even if one has never read the main series.

On the other hand, there are some seriously disturbing events, particularly in the Frog Prince tale, that might turn off a casual reader. If you’ve never read Fables, be aware that Willingham & the artists do not flinch from portraying most of the violent and evil acts perpetrated in the stories.

nice to see a story from fables on this list even if its the story that lead to fables happening. including the fate of the seven dwarves from snow white.

The Frog Prince story is really heart-breaking, especially that final panel.

Like Mike Loughlin says, there is some disturbing stuff that happens, but everybody should read it.

Great book. I remember being taken aback by the Snow White story. In the early issues of Fables there’s some throwaway dialogue involving Snow, along the lines of “DON”T MENTION THE DWARVES!” I took it as a joke when I read the issue.
I don’t know if Willingham had this tale in mind, but the back story is pretty vicious.

Seeing the Bolton art again makes me think I should pick up that Peter Straub book he just did.

My first foray into Fables. Brilliant stuff.

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