Monday, December 19, 2011

Between the Pages: Video Discussion on Fairy Tale TV, Movies & Fables

With all the recent fascination in fairy tales being updated and twisted, Bill Willingham's Fables have come up in discussion since day one of the Once & Grimm TV premieres, the concern being that his long popular idea has been "ripped off" (with special finger pointing at the Once Upon A Time producers).

Bill Willingham himself met with the Once Upon A Time producers to sort out any misunderstandings (a meeting which went very well) and has assured fans in a self-interview/essay that there is no "rip off" in progress but instead more of a "fairy tales in the zeitgeist" situation. You can read all about it in this article HERE from earlier in the month which has the "self-interview" and a more recent one HERE in which the Once creators are interviewed on their view of the meeting (this is the one The SurLaLune Blog linked to this week).

I have to post an excerpt because no matter what gripes and niggles I have about anything based on fairy tales, this is my main feeling too. Mr. Willingham asked himself this (and I'm posting the "general" answer part, though he gets more specific in the article):
"Do you like (the ABC series) Once?" 
I like anything that raises the awareness of fairy tales and folklore as the raw stuff from which some of our best stories are being told today. The mercenary part of me hopes that every single fan of "Once" will also check out "Fables." Remember, stories aren't automatically in competition with each other. If I like Batman, it doesn't mean I have to dislike Captain America. I'd hate for "Fables" to be the only fairy tale-based story out there. If that were the case, I'd have nothing to read or watch for pleasure in this genre I love. I want more of what I want. Snacks are nice, but a feast is better.
Not all fans are so accepting of this trend though, particularly comic book enthusiasts, despite Mr. Willingham's plea to fans to back-off with the accusations:
As grateful as I am to discover so many loyal Fables readers, willing to man the barricades, to help protect a story they love; as much as it moves me to realize I’ve been part in creating something that clearly moves you, affecting your lives in ways only a good story, well-told can, I think it’s time to lay off.
Some of the fan responses haven't been nice at all, calling Mr. Willingham a "coward" (among other things!) but I think it's clear that despite it all, Fables is very likely to attract a whole new slew of fans because of Once. (Maybe that's the fan-plan after all. :D ) As far as I can tell Mr. Willingham hasn't responded to these comments and personally, I don't think he should have to. I think he said it all incredibly well in his interview/essay.

This leads me up to today's actual post topic (apparently I had more preamble in me than planned!) which is a new web show called "Between the Pages". It discusses issues going on in the comic book world with a guest and right now, fairy tales are the hot topic. This week they discuss everything from comics to TV series to the variety of movies coming out based on fairy tales. Take a look:

What do you think? Do you agree with their assessments for the TV series? How about their movie success (or lack of) predictions?

While we're on the topic of comparisons, I thought I'd throw this is in for some extra fun. Here is a "pre-Once" article from October which pits Disney characters against their Fables counterparts to see who wins. Here's the idea:

The idea of fairytale characters exiled into the real world appeals to readers because of their familiarity with the characters -- or at least the kid-friendly version from Disney. But how would the Vertigo revamps stack up against their all-ages counterparts? We've asked Invincible Super-Blogger Chris Sims to put some of our favorite Fables against their Disney counterparts for a head-to-head comparison to find out!
It's a recommended read and should leave you smiling. :) Check it out HERE.

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