An Introduction to Fables
What I thought would be a one-off video game that might kill a few afternoons has ended up opening my eyes to a new world of comics. Let me share that with you and introduce you to Fables.
My first introduction to the Fables universe was in the recently released Telltale game The Wolf Among Us. Now the first Telltale game most people have seen was the Walking Dead tie-in game. Personally I didn’t like it, I felt it was very slow and the style didn’t really match my idea of the comics so I played Episode One for free and left it at that. When The Wolf Among Us came out I thought much of the same at the idea but I enjoy the classic ‘point and click’ style games so once again, as Episode One was free, I downloaded it to give it a try. I was hooked straight away. It wasn’t just the game style that got me, it was the storytelling and the characters that were so original it kept me so very engrossed!
The Fable universe is one that is both wonderfully simple to understand but amazingly complex once you start to delve into it. Simply in the Fable universe all the fairytale and folklore characters that you’ve ever known have had to flee their kingdom to live in our realm. Most of them reside in a single district of New York in the aptly named Fable Town and try to live their lives surrounded by the Mundeys, normal folk like you and me. At a deeper level it’s a tale of intrigue where the lives of these classic characters are blown out of proportion with good turning evil, evil turning good and Pinocchio becoming a 300 year old boy…
Although the series is full of many well known and some unknown characters, the main focus at the beginning is on Bigby Wolf and Snow White. Snow is exactly who you expect her to be, one of the well spoken, better living members of the Fable Community. Still retaining the classic pale skin and dark hair of her fame she has becoming the deputy Mayor of Fable Town under Old King Cole. Bigby Wolf however is one of the characters who has gone though a bit of a re-birth. Bigby used to be The Big Bad Wolf, bad guy in numerous different fairy tales, but now he is the sheriff of Fable Town and has the ability to hide his true wolf form under a gruff looking exterior. Having changed himself to be a “good guy” he lives a humble existence in one of the smaller apartments in The Woodlands, the apartment building at the centre of Fable Town. He lives alone apart from the odd visit he gets from an old friend from the old world: Colin, one of the Thee Little Pigs.
Away from The Woodlands and Fable town itself there is another district that is part of the universe, The Farm. Its a section of up-state New York that Is protected my magical fields so Mundies don’t wander into the fields and barns and find themselves among Giants and pixys and three little talking pigs. This is where all the fables who either choose not to have a human appearance, or cant afford the magical ‘Glimmers’ they need to be able to fit into normal society. Some see being trapped at The Farm as stigma, making them second class citizens and will always attempt to escape to the city where Bigby spends a large amount of his time herding them back up again.
The comics themselves are written by Bill Willingham and published by DC’s Vertigo, running for 150 issues. These days they can be picked up in a series of 22 graphic novels each containing one complete story arc. They are a fantastic read and my wife and I are working our way though. I warn you now though, like any good series, I wouldn’t get too attached to some of the characters.
All comic Images are Copyright of DC and Vertigo.
All Game Images are Copyright of Telltale.