As if Fables doesn't have enough with Cinderella, Jack of Fables, 1001 Nights of Snowfall, and now Werewolves of the heartland and Fairest.
I understand the need to keep producing comics and perhaps stir more interest in Fables itself, but to be honest, Fables sells itself just fine. Anyone who reads comics or Graphic Novels has either heard of it, read of it, or is in love with it.
The first issue of Cinderella (the second one will be released in April) was good, but not spectacular. It has some potential though, the idea of the 'baddass female faerie-tale' has taken quite a hit with Hollywood , and I predict it will continue in its popularity. The soon to be released Snow White and the Huntsman and ABS's new show Once Upon a Time both tossed aside the frail and fragile damsel in distress image for a more independent and kick-ass one, much like Cindy's spy role in Fables.
I personally did not enjoy Jack of Fables, I found it predictable and boring. Jack's so called witty ingeniousness coupled with his absolute lack of regard for anyone but himself makes for great reading when thrown into Fables. But without any other three dimensional characters for support, Jack of Fables fell miserably low in my opinion.
1001 Nights of Snowfall was by far the best, and I don't even think it should be categorized under spin-offs. It should be labelled as a prequel or 'origins piece' or something similar. The artwork alone is spectacular and includes pieces from Tara Mcpherson, one of my personal favourite illustrators, and of course Bucky* himself.
And now Werewolves of the heartland coming out in November. Hopefully it's more promising than the previous ones. I appreciated how they created and honed the Bigby story, so I would like to see where they go with that.
I say invest more time with current issues and less time trying to be innovative and make more money. At the moment issues come out every six months, which is quite a wait for regular readers. That said, I cant wait to see the latest installment: "Fairest" featuring Sleeping Beauty, Cindy, Snow, Red and Rapunzul...and perhaps more. This looks like something I would want to read, and hopefully other Fables fans agree. As long as they keep the art spectacular, and the story better than the other spin-off attempts, it will be a hit.
*Mark Buckingham: Illustrator: (Sandman, Fables, Spiderman, Xanadu...to name a few). He is the Morgan Freeman of comic illustrators.