BCC 2013: General Thoughts & Official East Coast Fables panel

For a variety of (spectacularly boring) reasons, I wasn’t able to spend as much time at Baltimore Comic Con this year as I have in the past. However, I did manage to canvas the floor, meet a ton of really great artists (more on that later), see some amazing cosplayers, and generally have a good time.  The vibe of the show was a little bit different this year, but there seemed to be plenty of floor traffic around the artists’ tables as well as decent crowds in the panels.

I was only able to sit through one panel this year (I missed the Marvel panel by a hair), however it was a doozy.  So click the jump to check out the run down!

Official East Coast Fables Panel aka “Go to Hell Alma-tomato”

Fables encyclopedia cover by Adam Hughes

Panel line-up: Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges,  Mark Buckingham, Barry Kitson, Andrew Pepoy, Chrissie Zullo, Todd Klein, Sean Williams, Adam Hughes, and Meghan Hetrick

In one sentence: An expanded panel designed to talk all things Fablesverse (including creating a new story on the panel) ends up devolving into silliness and dancing with fun had by most.


    • There’s a bit of pre-panel hyping going on that it should start with poetry. There is a mass recitation of the prologue from The Cantebury Tales as well as a poem by Ogden Nash.
    • Willingham took a moment to talk about how territorial DC is about controlling stories (meaning the release of information). He then proceeded to talk about about how the former cover artist (Joao Ruas) has left Fables.
      •  There will be 6 or 7 guest artists doing covers before the new regular artist debuts.
      • Artists include: Greg Ruth, George Pratt, De Santos
      • There are more but neither Willingham or Mark Buckingham could remember, though boy did they try.
    • Camelot is the focus of the new stories.
      •  Insert accidental spoilers for the latest issue from Buckingham [re: Bigby].
      • New villain is trying to stop Rose Red.
      • Discussion of some of the art follows (it was a very visual heavy first half of the panel).
        • Willingham takes the time to discuss how much he loves the visual of a creature flying by literally running through the air (no wings, just running).
    •  134 by Mark BuckinghamIssue #134 features Bigby and Boy Blue. The issue is spent in their company separate from the main arc.
    • 2nd half of the Camelot arc has Buckingham doing the layouts with Ross Braun drawing.
    • A 2 part story from Steve Leialona called “Boys in the Band”, focusing on the band that Boy Blue left behind is coming up.
  •  Random segue into Dead Boy Detectiveswhich is a monthly spin off of Sandman drawn by Buckingham.
    • This looks cool or at least it does to me as a fan of strange mysteries AND Sandman.
  • Fairest stuff:
    • A new font by Todd Klein was created for the arc (which is a big deal)
    • This arc involves flashbacks to the Hindu Gods, but never says where they went.
    • Fairest in the Land is an original graphic novel in which the Magic Mirror recounts an elaborate mystery with magic.
    •  Issue 21 is a Goldilocks one-shot drawn by Meghan Hetrick
      • Fairest 19 coverIt is also a prequel to the OGN.
    • Fairest in the Land is broken down into chapters for days of the week.
    • Cinderella is getting an arc in Fairest AND is in the graphic novel.
  •  A  Fables encyclopedia is coming!
    •  This led to a strange discussion of Adam Hughes drawing a unicorn barbecue on the Farm shouting out not to be eaten. Actually this whole next part of the panel just got weird.
    • No really, Adam Hughes ends up calling Willingham a “seething cauldron of creativity”.
  •  Q&A time is had!
    • Someone asks how many times (of the 7 fated times) Bigby has died.
      • Answer: Willingham will just admit to the one that was on panel.
    • Asked if there is a particular fable/myth that hasn’t been used that the creators really want to?
      • Willingham says that now that typical characters have been used, he can get into the obscure ones that send people to do research to get them.
    • Movie???
      • A movie is planned, Time Warner is on board with HP Producers attached as well as a director and a screenwriter, however Willingham won’t say that it’s real until wardrobe has called the actors. Still very delicate and needs so much more to go. So fingers crossed!
    •  Someone asks about the next culture to dive into
      • Willingham answers by discussing how arcs are created by Shelly and he fighting over things until something tumbles out. What little he’ll admit to is that the will be going to an exotic land and that another arc involves talking animals.
  • A nice concluding thought is that the panel seems to agree that there is no such thing as dilution from the genre. There can always be new ways to adapt and shape public domain characters and different people like different things. Some might be better than others, but that’s how it goes. Who doesn’t want more of what they love in new ways?

A generally fun panel even if they never really got into creating a new story and hashing out a comic for everyone. There was however a pretty epic dance contest.

What’s Next:

  • Early in the panel there was hinting by Willingham that he and Barry Kitson are collaborating on a non-Vertigo, non-DC title, but not much else was said about that. Nor is much else said by Barry Kitson.

Overall it was a fun Saturday and BCC definitely retains its place in my heart as a solid mid-size con. Next year it is expanding to a three-day show and I’m intrigued to see how that plays out!

About Chantaal

A book reading, nail polish hoarding, makeup loving, TV marathoning, comic book talking Philosophy major. I want to be Rashida Jones when I grow up.
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