This coming December, Bill Willingham's bestselling comic Fables, a series about fairy tale characters who escape to modern day, will be 10 years old. In a decade, the series has 14 Eisner Awards to its name (as of this post) and manages to avoid any worn-out welcomes by shifting its main plots around various folklore settings while keeping a mostly consistent cast of familiar characters in play (ex: Snow White marries the Big Bad Wolf). With so many plotlines beginning and resolving, it shouldn't surprise anyone that the author would be a fun storyteller in person, too. Recently, Willingham agreed to sit down with us to discuss Fables, Fables spinoffs, and saying goodbye to House of Mystery.
Omnivoracious.com: Your fans know you as a world-builder. What (or whose) worlds do you love?
Bill Willingham: I was just about to say, “Anyone who creates a world I would want to live in,” but my favorite fictional worlds that I enjoy reading or watching are actually the ones I would never want to live in [laughs]. I mean, like, the Firefly universe? Who would actually want to be part of that? It’s grim and it’s terrible, and bad things happen to everybody.
Omni: Also very dusty.
Bill Willingham: Very dusty. Or, like the Game of Thrones [books]. Wonderful stories, but boy, you would not want to be anybody in that world—especially when the god of that world, George R.R. Martin, just kills people willy-nilly.
Omni: What about your Fables universe? Would you ever consider moving in there?
Bill Willingham: Moving into the Fables universe? Wow, that’s a good one. I would say—right up until some of the recent events that we have planned—yes. That would be okay, but maybe not so much with what we have coming.
Omni: Maybe steer clear of Mister Dark.
Bill Willingham: One hopes. Hopefully, Mister Dark is gone for a while—we’ll see. I suspect that if I ever did end up in the Fables universe there’d be a lot of characters who’d want revenge. I don’t know that I’d last too long.