Bill Willingham talks ending Fables and progress on a Fables movie

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May 11, 2015, 5:28 PM EDT

This summer will mark the final issue of Fables, the Vertigo Comics series by writer Bill Willingham and (mostly) artist Mark Buckingham that spawned numerous spinoffs, won more than a dozen Eisner Awards and won over millions of readers with its story of fairytale and folklore characters trying to live life after they were banished from their homelands by a malevolent Adversary. Fables has been with us for 13 years now, and it's proved to be a gateway drug for plenty of comics readers and an inspiration to legions of fans, but this July it will finally wrap up with a massive 150th issue, a story so big it will take up its own trade paperback (plus bonus features) and round out the Fables library at volume 22. 

For Willingham, it marks the end of a huge chapter of his professional life, and last month at C2E2 in Chicago The Mary Sue caught up with him to talk about the end, and why he chose to say goodbye to the series. You should definitely go check out the entire interview, but here's Willingham on why the series is coming to a close:

"The actual thing is it’s kind of an odd way, how the end of Fables came about. We were considering the next story arc and I’d become increasingly anxious about not marking time," Willingham said. "Every arc of Fables I wanted if possible to be the most important, compelling, life changing arc there is. A lot of the reviews of late have been along the lines of 'oh, it looks like Fables might be getting good again,' which is a dagger to the heart. My relationship with reviewers is I want vigorous engagement. Love is preferred, hate is acceptable, but 'meh' is death. Tell all the big stuff first; in journalism it’s 'don’t bury the lead.'"

So it seems Willingham feels he finally reached the end of his "big stuff," and so Fables is done this year, but the franchise might not be. For years now, rumors have persisted of a potential Fables feature film, and the project has a powerhouse producer in David Heyman (Harry Potter). Willingham still doesn't know when we might see it, but in this interview he does confirm that it's still moving forward.

"I’m going to try and not speak out of school…the Fables movie is still, as far as I understand, a greenlit project. David Heyman, the producer of the Harry Potter movies is still interested in doing it. But rumor has it that there has been a script produced that was a giant hot mess, so now it’s in someone else’s hands. And I know who, and my confidence is very high. But take everything I say about it with a giant grain of salt, because I am the kid at the end of 'didn’t anyone tell him' lane, and often the last to know. I am often reminded that it took 60 years for Lord of the Rings to get made and Tolkien didn’t live to see it...I hope I’m not Tolkien."

Fables #150 will hit stores this July. Hopefully a Fables film will someday follow.

(Via The Mary Sue)