INTERVIEW Artist Mark Buckingham talks Fables

No more Fables ! As Bill Willingham announces his retirement from the popular comic, artist Mark Buckingham tells us what's next

Comic writer Bill Willingham recently announced his retirement, stating that #150 will be the last issue of Fables , the immensely popular fantasy comic that's been running since 2002. Willingham also stated he will be ending its companion series, Fairest , as well.

He worked on Fables with top artist Mark Buckingham , who's won four Eisner Awards for his work. Catching up with him this week, we asked him how he’s feeling now Fables is coming to an end: “Sad, of course," he told us exclusively. "The series has been a part of my life for 12 years, almost half my career, and it is hard to imagine not seeing Snow, Bigby, Rose Red, Flycatcher and the rest of those wonderful characters on my drawing board. I am very attached to them all.”

Above: Mark Buckingham in San Diego in July 2013.

Fables brought life to the characters of fairytale and folklore and transplanted them to New York where the characters live in Fabletown. Willingham announced on his site: “After more than ten years of publication, and hundreds of issues of Fables , and various Fables -related works, I have decided the time has come to begin the process of bringing our sweeping story to a close. And, along the way, I’ve decided to retire from a great deal of my comics work.”

Buckingham informs us of how he and Bill began the talks of ending Fables : “Bill recently told me he had reached a point in his career, getting close to 60, where he felt it was time to retire from the relentless demands of monthly books. At the same time, a lot of our major story lines were coming together and building to something big. As we talked about Bill’s plans we could see that the next major story arc could give the series a truly wonderful finale.”

Despite the sad news that the comic is ending after a decade of entertaining its readers, fans do not have to fear that Fables is completely over as Warner Bros are currently developing a film adaptation of the comic. David Heyman, producer of the Harry Potter film series is reported to be on board as well as Nikolaj Arcel, writer of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo , who'll be directing. As for Mark Buckingham, he’ll still be very busy. “ Miracleman will be keeping me busy in 2015 when Neil Gaiman and I finally complete the story we began over twenty years ago," he tells us. "You should also keep in mind that we announced the end of Fables with an awful lot of notice. Our fans still have sixteen issues worth of Fables to look forward to, which will keep me busy all through next year. Alongside all of that, I still have quite a lot of other work lined up that will continue to keep me fully occupied at Vertigo/DC Entertainment. The most immediate of those hits the shelves on New Years Eve when Dead Boy Detective #1 is released. It’s a new ongoing monthly spin off from Neil’s Sandman series, with script by the wonderful novelist Toby Litt, plus art by myself and the skilful brushwork of Gary Erskine, and I am very excited to see how the readers react to that.”

When asked what he will miss most about being a part of something that has such a long and popular history, Buckingham responds, “The fans most of all. The loyalty and dedication of our readers has been something exceptional and so rewarding. I’ll equally miss the team. We have been an incredibly close knit group working on the Fables books, both creatively and editorially, and that has been a big part of the books continued success.”

Read the latest comics news and interviews quarterly in Comic Heroes magazine .

Report by Chloe Haynes