If, for any particular reason, you want to stop reading Fables, issue 75 would be a good place to hop off. Because this issue is what it was all leading to. All that build-up, all the peripheral characters, the sidetracked storylines, everything comes together in ‘War and Pieces’, the three-issue storyline that concludes in #75. This is how Bill Willingham would have ended the series had Fables not become the bestselling, spinoff-producing behemoth that it has become . The story will continue, but will it be the same? I really, really hope so. On top of it, James Jean, cover artist extraordinaire – the man responsible for establishing the classical, definitive look of the Fables comic – is bowing out to pursue a career in fine arts. Issue 82 is his last.
The short-term consequence of this is the abandonment of all hope I had of owning an original Jean Fables cover. In the long run, I foresee the end of the five-year Eisner award winning streak that the series has had for Best Cover Artist. Unless they get someone worthy enough to fill Jean’s shoes. The problem is that regular cover artists like Adam Hughes and Brian Bolland, both of whom I adore completely, lack that otherworldly painted style that Jean brought to Fables. Tara McPherson, for instance, who painted that Frau Totenkinder story in 1001 Nights of Snowfall has that special spark. So does Sam Weber, who’s done some amazing work for Vertigo’s House of Mystery, with Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges. Ah, well, we shall see who editor Shelley Bond goes with, the official announcement should be out soon.
And in more news, All Star Batman and Robin #10 was recalled from retailers by DC. Here’s why.