by Bill Willingham
So, I’ve watched the first two episodes of “Grimm,” one of the two new fairy-tale-themed tv shows this season; I’m not convinced yet that I even like it that much, but I’m not ready to completely give up on it, either. It stars a kind of doofus detective, but has a very funny Big Bad Wolf as a supporting character. While watching the second episode, I thought, “I really wish the Big Bad Wolf was the main character.” Which promptly reminded me of the graphic novel series, Fables, and how much I enjoyed them when I read them several years ago, borrowing the first 5 or 6 volumes from my neighbor.
That weekend when browsing a used bookstore, I ran across and promptly purchased the first issue of Fables. (They also had issues 3 and 5, which I might go back for, continuity-be-damned.) In the series, one of the two central characters is the Big Bad Wolf (named Bigby Wolf now), and he is a hard-boiled sheriff helping keep Fabletown under control.
Quick backup: the basic premise is that an enemy named only as the Adversary has conquered the magical world in which all the fable characters lived, killing many of them and forcing the rest to escape to our world (the Mundane world, i.e. New York City), and set up a hidden community there.
The first graphic novel introduces the reader to many of the characters, gives us the background history, and explains some of the nitty-gritty details of trying to run and control a secret community filled with disparate characters, all while being a clever detective story.
The other main character is Snow White, who is the Director of Operations of the new Fabletown, and is a strong, competent, ambitious businesswoman, which isn’t overwhelmingly common in the comic book world. All the other characters are fun and interesting twists on many traditional fables.
Anyway, the point is, I wish “Grimm” was Fables instead, or that they would make a tv show of Fables, or even better, a high-budget Lord-of-the-Rings-like movie!