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War Rocket Ajax #127: Bill Willingham Talks ‘Fabletown And Beyond’ And, Yes, Stephanie Brown

This week on War Rocket Ajax, we’re joined by Bill Willingham! He’s been writing Fables for a decade, but next March, he’ll be taking on a new role as the host of the Fabletown and Beyond convention in Rochester, Minnesota. We talk all about why he wanted to start up a convention based on the Mythic Fiction genre, as well as — and I say this with no hint of irony — the most in-depth discussion we have ever had about the death of Stephanie Brown. And you can listen to the whole show right here at ComicsAlliance!War Rocket Ajax #127: Programmed Hanky Panky with Bill Willingham
(WARNING: Contains NSFW language)

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This week, Matt is recovering from his brief tenure as the villain known as Stitchmouth, while Chris is full of fun stories from his trip to Los Angeles for SummerSlam 2012! So if you’re one of the few people who is way into both Stephanie Brown and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, this is the show for you.

When Bill joins us, the conversation turns to his upcoming convention:

What do you call someone willing to run a convention? “A damn fool” is the technical term.

Every single cop who’s ever existed, the good ones, the bad ones, the ones that are sent down on Earth by Mary, Mother of God Herself to be the holiest, most incorruptible cop on Earth, have one thing in common. They’ve spent most of their career time working out the perfect crime. Not because they intend to commit the perfect crime — some maybe do and some don’t, that’s got nothing to do with it — it’s because that’s the business they’re in. They encounter, every day of their lives, idiot criminals. There’s no such thing as the Master Criminal of story, for the most part they’re just idiots and morons, so every cop has, in the internal dialogue that we all have, said “you idiot, you should’ve done this. If you’d done this, we never would’ve suspected you, but instead you did this.” That type of thing. So of course, in a lifetime of police work, you will in your imagination, work out “here’s how you kill your wife if she’s pissing you off,” “here’s how you embezzle from your company,” et cetera, et cetera.

Like that, I think everyone who attends a convention, either as a fan, or a guest, or any exhibitor or whatever, carries those joys and frustrations of all those conventions and says “this is what never should have happened at this convention, although this is a good thing, so…” In your head, you’re putting together this jigsaw puzzle of “the perfect convention would have all of this and none of this.” I’m guilty of the same thing, and it was just a matter of time.

In my comics career, I was on a track of doing something monumentally stupid in my career about every two years, to the extent of being banned from comics many times. Since about a year or so before Fables, so about twelve years now, I haven’t really done anything monumentally stupid to derail my career. I thought, what could be better than deciding to host a convention? That’s a good way to screw some stuff up.

Despite his pessimism, though, Bill makes Fabletown and Beyond sound like an awful lot of fun. Plus, from the man who wrote it himself, we finally get the full story of the brief death of Stephanie Brown!

Show Notes:

Find out more about Fabletown and Beyond!

Follow Bill Willingham on Twitter, and check out his website!

You can also find him at the Clockwork Storybook!

Chris’s write-up of SummerSlam and the WWE ’13 demo.

Chris’s Rec: Dust: An Elysian Tail, on XBox Live Arcade.

Matt’s Rec: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword on Wii.

Comics Reviewed:

Amazing Spider-Man #692: “The thing is, despite some rushed-through things in Alpha’s origin, this issue really disposes of it quickly, which I like. I actually think it’s good that Alpha’s established as having these powers and being this guy in just a few pages. It actually emulates Amazing Fantasy #15 that way.”

Archie #636: “This is the gender-swap issue that we’ve all been waiting for, and it is everything you wanted it to be. Just like Jughead #200, it does a great job of playing with these characters and subverting expectations in a really fun way.”

Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom #1: “It’s great. It throws the reader right into the deep end… he’s the Rocketeer from Page 2.

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