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    Bigby Wolf

    Character » Bigby Wolf appears in 293 issues.

    Once the villain who terrorized various fables the likes of Little Red Riding Hood, the Three Little Pigs, Bigby Wolf has since reformed and was for a long time a sheriff and spymaster for Fabletown.

    Interview: Matthew Sturges and Dave Justus Talk FABLES: THE WOLF AMONG US Comic

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    gmanfromheck

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    Edited By gmanfromheck

    Many of you may have played Fables: The Wolf Among Us episodic game from Telltale Games. The game got rave reviews and allowed players to go through the story of Bigby Wolf as the Sheriff of Fabletown. Because of the longevity of FABLES and the love readers have for the series and characters, it makes perfect sense to see this story fleshed out in comic format.

    The first chapter of FABLES: THE WOLF AMONG US will be available today. It's a Digital First series so you can purchase the first chapter HEREfor $0.99, as well as your other digital app locations for DC/Vertigo books.

    We talked to Matthew Sturges and Dave Justus about working on bring the story to comics.

    No Caption Provided

    COMIC VINE: How closely will the comic compare to the story from the game?

    MATT STURGES: Good question. Doing an adaptation can be a tricky business. On one hand, you want to remain true to the source material, but on the other hand you want to give the reader something new. It was made clear to us that we had some license to make the story our own; we have a mandate to make the story as great as we can possibly make it, and that certainly allows for some diversions from the story of the game. The thing about that, though, is that the story of the game is really really good. If you haven’t played any of Telltale’s games, these are not bland first-person shooters or clunky adventure games. These are extremely well written interactive narratives. There are no plot holes to pave over, no lack of depth or complexity. Which is great in that it gives us a lot of good stuff to work with, but slightly frustrating in that there is very little to be improved upon in terms of story.

    With that in mind, what we set out to do was leave the basic story alone -- it’s a great murder mystery that isn’t broke so we’re not fixing it -- and instead apply ourselves to the task of rounding out the world of the story, fleshing out the characters, providing backstory, and doing those things in ways that allow us to be as creative and imaginative as possible, doing fun things with storytelling, format, mood, and narrative that aren’t possible in the context of a game.

    So in a way we get the best of both worlds: You get a comic book that’s a true adaptation of the story of the game for those who don’t care to play the game or who want to relive it, and you also get a whole bunch of other stuff along with it.

    CV: Is it safe to assume that those that have not played the game will have no problem jumping into the comic?

    DAVE JUSTUS: We’ve certainly worked hard to make it possible for a reader to come to the comic absolutely cold and not miss a beat. The wonderful thing about the world-building that Bill Willingham has done with Fables is that it feels lived-in from the very first moments. We don’t need to crowd the pages with a bunch of exposition, or have characters stop every few panels to say things like, “As you know, Grimble, we are fairy tale characters living in the mundane world, as we’ve done for centuries now.” We give readers just enough to set the scene, and trust that the story will draw them into the larger world.

    MS: Now I’m worried that Grimble will never find out that he’s a fairy tale character living in the mundane world. I think we made a mistake.

    No Caption Provided

    CV: Did you have to add things to make the story full translate into comics?

    DJ: The narrative of the video game is fairly complex -- that was something Matt and I found particularly attractive about it as we did our homework. But we knew we wanted to be able to bring our own embellishments to the project; otherwise, the comic would read like a transcript, and that would start to get old pretty quickly. So as we met new characters in gameplay, or chased down red herrings, we made plenty of notes about avenues we wanted to explore in the comic that had been, metaphorically speaking, roped off with police tape in the game.

    Vertigo, for their part, have been enormously encouraging of our many additions and digressions -- they’re in service to the overall story, of course, but we’ve been trying out various storytelling modes when writing backstory, chase scenes, hazy memories… and our artists have done a fantastic job of switching up their styles to complement the prose, making sure that, even if a reader is just casually flipping through the comic, she’ll know she’s getting something more than the story the game told her.

    MS: A good way to look at it might be to think of it like we’re doing a cover of a really great song. When The Byrds did “Mr. Tambourine Man” they didn’t change any of the chords or the lyrics, but it’s hard to argue that what they did wasn’t worth picking up even if you already had the Dylan version. That’s the challenge we set for ourselves.

    CV: How dark will the story get compared to ones in FABLES?

    MS: It’s pretty dark, just by virtue of the fact that it’s a crime story. Crime stories usually go to darker places in general, and this one is no exception. It’s fascinating in that it’s not really a story you’d imagine Bill Willingham writing, and yet it’s clearly a legitimate Fables story, which is a testament to the depth of the world that Bill created. It’s officially bigger than him.

    DJ: And that world accommodates stories in a variety of styles; across the various Fables titles we’ve seen World War II stories, espionage tales, humor, horror… there’s room for almost anything. Our comic is noir, but even within it, we’ve slipped in a number of other kinds of stories. And some of those are dark enough that noir will look like slapstick in comparison.

    CV: Will the comic (and you guys) continue after the story from the game is complete?

    DJ: You’d have to talk to The Powers That Be about that. We’re going to see The Wolf Among Us to its bloody conclusion, and find out who lives and who dies. (Spoiler: Bigby probably does not die.) If Telltale wants to come out with another Fables game or ten, I’ll happily make comics out of those too, even if it’s just stick figures on stapled notebook paper.

    MS: And I will color in those stick figures using my best crayon skills. I have a coloring method that ensures I always stay inside the lines. Anyone who wants to learn more can tweet me @matt_sturges.

    CV: What is it about Bigby that appeals to you? Is there more freedom writing Bigby in a prequel to FABLES or is there some restriction as to what you can do with him?

    MS: Like most readers, I’m a fan of a character that has a strong moral code. Bigby never wavers in terms of what he knows is right or wrong. Bigby’s conflict is more about his own place in things, where he fits in. That makes him an easy guy to like in a story, that combination of external integrity and inner vulnerability. We are drawn to these characters in fiction, even though in reality they’d probably be horrible to live with day to day.

    DJ: Obviously, this being a prequel, we can’t kill Bigby off and replace him with an exact duplicate named Armin Tamzarian, or anything quite so drastic. Bill Willingham has been nice enough to lend us his toybox, with the proviso that things need to be put back somewhere close to where we find them by the time of Fables #1. That said, knowing where Bigby’s character goes in the main title has given us the ability to write richer, more revealing narration for him than we might have been able to otherwise. We all know that Bigby and Snow have a love for the ages… but during our story, they don’t, not yet. So we get to explore what form Bigby’s complicated feelings take as he and Snow are working side by side.

    CV: Would you ever want to write a prequel story on any of the other main FABLES characters?

    MS: I guess if someone twisted my arm to write an Elmore Leonard-style caper story about Jack in the 1970s I could be persuaded. Or pretty much any other story you could imagine. But think about it: Jack was made to wear naugahyde and mutton chops and drive a muscle car with a stripe on it. If Jack wasn’t involved in at least one bad cocaine dead in the 1970s, I’d be stunned.

    DJ: Make that a buddy cop book, with Jack and Rose so deep undercover they’ve forgotten which side of the law they’re on -- and throw in Babe The Blue Ox as their Huggy Bear -- and I think Matt and I have our next collaboration. Time to get started on that pitch!

    Oh, the possibilities! Be sure to check out FABLES: THE WOLF AMONG US Chapter 1, on sale NOW!

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    z3ro180

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    Woo Hoo I'm gonna be spending more money's :)

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    #2  Edited By KingWillie

    Oh awesome, just finished the game the other day, and was really sad that it had to end soo soon. Really hope they make a season 2. But this is good news, I fell in love with Bigby and all the characters. Was such a good game, way better than I was expecting.

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    Akindoodle

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    #3  Edited By Akindoodle

    Oh awesome, just finished the game the other day, and was really sad that it had to end soo soon. Really hope they make a season 2. But this is good news, I fell in love with Bigby and all the characters. Was such a good game, way better than I was expecting.

    Also praying for a season 2, but not sure how likely that will be considering that the comics pretty much wrap up next year. We can still hope though

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    StarBrand1

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    im playing the game right now, i have no urge to read the comic..... but i def would play another game

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    amazing_webhead

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    #7  Edited By amazing_webhead

    Even a man who's pure of heart, and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms, and the Autumn moon is bright.

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    NightFang3

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    amazing_webhead

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    @amazingwebhead: Where's that from? I think i've heard it before.

    It's the curse of the werewolf from the old black & white Universal movies

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    KingWillie

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    @kingwillie said:

    Oh awesome, just finished the game the other day, and was really sad that it had to end soo soon. Really hope they make a season 2. But this is good news, I fell in love with Bigby and all the characters. Was such a good game, way better than I was expecting.

    Also praying for a season 2, but not sure how likely that will be considering that the comics pretty much wrap up next year. We can still hope though

    Well, it ended on a huge cliffhanger. And I hear recently there's been some talk of a season 2 coming sometime next year. I hope so man.

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