Followers of Bill Willingham's expanding Fables universe are in luck this fall: in addition to the monthly release of Vertigo's ongoing Fables and Fairest titles, USA Today has announced the release of a proper Fables Encyclopedia featuring annotations from scholarly expert, Jess Nevins, plus release details for the first Fairest standalone graphic novel, Fairest in the Land.

The Fables Encyclopedia will feature commentary from Willingham himself, as well as additional art from regular series artist Mark Buckingham. Perhaps most intriguing is the participation of Nevins; a pop-culture historian who previously lent his comics expertise to the extensive League of Extraordinary Gentlemen annotations, who will contribute historical context for the fairy tale characters used throughout the series.

Fairest in the Land, the first standalone Fairest original graphic novel following the adventures of the various female stars of the Fables canon, will serve up a series of shorter tales illustrated by a stable of artists. So far DC has named Hughes, Chrissie Zullo, Karl Kerschl and Mark Chiarello, with more to be announced. It's a format that should resonate with fans who have read the 2006 release, Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall.

Both the Fables Encyclopedia and Fairest in the Land will feature wraparound covers by Hughes, who readers will recognize from several previous cover gigs on the first two Fairest collections.

DC and Vertigo have yet to announce the page count for the Fables Encyclopedia, but considering there's more than 125 issues of the main Fables series, plus numerous miniseries, novel and ongoing spinoffs to chronicle, it's probably safe to expect a beast of a book.

[Via Pop Candy]