Mark Buckingham’s art hasn't just made Fables a classic — it has made it, and comics in general, accessible to reluctant readers the world over. His work on the long-running Vertigo series chronicling the lives of exiled fairy tale characters is simple, but never simplistic, and visually strong without ever sacrificing complexity. From Buckingham’s pen flow wooden soldiers of truly oaken resolve, smart-mouthed witches, rumpled detectives and alcoholic, anthropomorphic pigs, all living and loving in the little slice of New York City they've made their own.
Buckingham has helped propel the Bill Willingham-written series to the bestseller lists over and over again, inspired decadent cosplay and made Fables the kind of work that's beloved by your bag-and-boarding friends and your mom alike. Now, as the story nears its end, Buckingham is preparing to say goodbye the world he so richly imagined. ComicsAlliance found him at San Diego Comic-Con to discuss the fond farewell and what the future holds.
In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”
Artist Chrissie Zullo got her break in comics via the DC Comics Talent Search in 2008 and has been working consistently ever since. She has worked for a variety of major comics publishers, including Archie, Dark Horse, IDW, and Vertigo, on covers and interiors for series including Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love, Fairest In All The Land, Womanthology: Space, Madame Xanadu and Life With Archie.
While I was playing the final episode of Telltale Games' first season of its Fables prequel game, The Wolf Among Us, I was struck by just how many genres it cycles through before its conclusion. It's a locked-parlor mystery. Then it's an action movie. There's melodrama in there. One scene is straight-up horror. Then it's a legal drama.
Previous episodes covered even more genre territory, from noir to surreal fiction to police procedural, but it wasn't until this episode that it dawned on me that Telltale was honoring the storytelling style of Fables, which started as a whodunnit and quickly became beyond categorization in its genre-hopping. Fables isn't just a series about storybook characters, it's a story about stories, and Telltale gets that. This final episode, "Cry Wolf," absolutely proved it.
In its penultimate episode, the Telltale Games Fables prequel series The Wolf Among Us went to some dark, surreal places. Next week, the first-season finale, "Cry Wolf," will be available on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, iOS and Steam, and, if the trailer is any indication, it seems to promise to snap things back to a violent, seedy reality.
Then again, maybe it doesn't.
(Warning: Minor spoilers for the first four episodes of The Wolf Among Us ahead.)
Each weekday, ComicsAlliance brings you a carefully selected variety of links from around the web about comics and comics-related media, including movies, video games, toys, and whatever else might be worth noting. Quite frankly, these are items you may just need to know about to have a productive day. Take a look at today's hand-picked links after the jump.
When it started back in 2002, the premise of Bill Willingham's Vertigo series Fables seemed to be pretty simple: characters from fairy tales inhabiting a modern world. Nearly 12 years and 140 issues later, it's clear that isn't 100 percent accurate. The series has evolved to be as much about creating new fairy tales as it is about the modern-day area of New York City known as Fabletown, and it became as much about the characters' pasts as it was about their presents.
That's more than evident in the opening pages of Fables #141, the issue that kicks off the 10-part, series-ending "Happily Ever After," by Willingham, Mark Buckingham (the artist who drew the bulk of the series), Andrew Pepoy, Steve Leialoha and Lee Loughridge. A new piece of lore sets up the inevitable conflict that will see the series through to its conclusion. It's an elegant piece of storytelling, and the rest of the issue is similarly understated in a way that builds toward a climax, but doesn't reveal too much. It's all table setting, but it's one very nicely set table.
Here's my main complaint about Telltale Games penultimate episode of its Fables prequel video game, The Wolf Among Us: It starts a little slow.
That kind of seems to be the point, though. This episode, titled "In Sheep's Clothing," adds yet another twist to the noir-ish detective story that's been running through it. There's a psychological horror element to it that plays out with a very slow build, until it explodes into the surreal the very end. There's a sort of David Lynch feel to it. I absolutely loved it.
The first two episodes of Telltale Games' Fables prequel, The Wolf Among Us, had clearly served as homage to a very particular genre, neon noir. The third episode, "A Crooked Mile," which hit Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC and iOS this week, keeps the neon but seems to drop the noir.
What the developers and writers offer up instead is a bloodier, more aggressive story this time around. It feels pretty strongly like the a hat-tip to the gun-driven revenge and exploitation films of the 1970s, particularly by the end, and it gives the game a sense of welcome unpredictability.
So far, the Telltale Games Fables prequel game, The Wolf Among Ushas delivered on its promise of an atmospheric, intrigue-filled noir set in Fabletown, U.S.A.
The trailer for the third of the game's episodes, titled "A Crooked Mile," looks like that trend will continue with more mysteries, intense interrogations, and characters saying portentous, vague things at every turn. Oh, and Bigby Wolf continues to take (and dish out) a good many beatings along the way. Check out the trailer (which includes spoilers for the previous two episodes) after the jump!
The biggest weakness of the mostly fantastic first episode of Telltale Games' Fables prequel game,The Wolf Among Us, was one that tends to come up in prequels. It built a handful of major plot points around putting characters that show up safe and sound in Fables in seemingly mortal peril.
The second episode, titled "Smoke and Mirrors," largely avoids that pitfall by quickly dealing with the cliffhanger from the previous episode to unveil new secrets that arise more organically from the world of the game. New characters and seedy settings keep things fresh while maintaining a wonderfully noirish atmosphere. And while the gameplay is slightly different, it's still eminently compelling.
It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.
*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.
Welcome back to Comics Alliance
It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://comicsalliance.com using your Facebook account.