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Bill Willingham Announces Semi-Retirement, ‘Fables’ Conclusion With Issue #150

James Jean

In a Friday blog post, writer Bill Willingham announced that his and Mark Buckingham’s long-running Vertigo series Fables will conclude with its 150th issue after what will have been a 13-year run.

That’s still a ways off. This month’s issue is #135, so, assuming a monthly schedule, that’d put the end of the series somewhere around the spring of 2015. Willingham said the choice to end the series was his, so he can be “more selective in what projects I take on” as he approaches age 60. Spinoff title Fairest will also come to an end.

The writer added:

I wanted to let our wonderful readers know about this as soon as I could, and note that our story plans leading up to Issue 150 made it increasingly clear that this upcoming saga should naturally be the final story.

The news makes Fables just the latest Vertigo title to end in the past few years. Hellblazer ended earlier this year with issue #300. American Vampire went on hiatus. A slew of series, including DMZ, Scalped, and iZombie, ended last year. The Unwritten had its final issue last week, but will be relaunching in January.

In large part, Vertigo is going full-on with new original series in the year to come, with the exception of series like the bi-monthly The Sandman: Overture and Sandman spinoff Dead Boy Detectives. It’s not quite a New 52, but it does seem like something of a new chapter for the imprint — especially following the departure of its founder Executive Editor Karen Berger earlier in 2013. Fortunately for Vertigo, issues of Sandman: Overture will be released over the majority of 2014, and if issue #1 is any indication, an unusually large number of house ads for the imprint’s latest slate of titles. There’s probably no better way of raising awareness for unknown projects than putting them in view of Sandman readers, who are legion.

For Willingham’s part, he can likely rest assured that Fables will continue to entertain readers for years to come. Like Sandman, Fables is a perennial hit for Vertigo, with a mighty backlist that includes not just numerous editions of the main series but also supplementary projects like the Jack of Fables series, the Cinderella miniseries, the Fairest series, an illustrated prose novel, a video game, and the recently released Fables Encyclopedia.

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