Sometimes you have to post about something even if it has nothing to do with your blog. This is one of those times.
This year, Scott and I gave each other a trip to Rochester, Minnesota as our anniversary gift.
Sure, it may not sound very sexy, but we had good reason: the inaugural Fabletown and Beyond Convention.
Although our shared love for comic books is no secret, it may surprise some that my favorite title doesn’t feature cape-donning superheroes.
Ever since I got back into comics 8 years ago, Bill Willingham’s Fables is the only title that’s kept me enthralled the entire time.
Going strong for 10+ years with a few spin-offs and a novel to its name, the intricate world that Willingham and his collaborating artists have built has never disappointed.
As @CLEYogi can personally vouch – it’s a very effective gateway into comic books.
So when Willingham announced a convention dedicated solely to mythic fiction like Fables, Mouse Guard, and The Unwritten AND we learned it was taking place around our fourth wedding anniversary, Scott and I had a feeling this roadtrip would be the perfect gift.
At some point during the weekend, Fablescon managed to exceed even the mythic-sized expectations we had set for it.
Mark Buckingham – the wildly talented artist of Fables and the convention’s guest of honor – set the mood for the weekend with a plucky, touching, and musical keynote:
The weekend overflowed with enriching and entertaining conversations around mythology, the challenges of storytelling, and a couple of Barbarians.
And we had just as much fun outside the panel rooms at the Kill Shakespeare Bar and rooftop pool party (I don’t think Scott will ever recover from playing volleyball with Buckingham and Gene Ha).
With the help of dedicated volunteers, friends and colleagues, Bill Willingham set out to create a different type of comic convention. And it was, in all the right ways.
There was a generous camaraderie between Fablescon’s guests and attendees more so than I’ve experienced at other conventions.
It broke down the barrier that the printed page has a habit of creating between a book’s artists and fans and will make reading these stories much different and more rewarding in the future.
Unfortunately, as we learned at the closing panel, this may have been the first and last Fabletown and Beyond.
Not for lack of interest (it sold out), but because putting on a convention like this is demanding. As a fan, I want to see Willingham get back to the projects he had to put off during Fabletown prep. Namely, there’s an upcoming collaboration between him and Frank Cho I’m very excited for.
Even though I would LOVE to attend more conventions like this, if this was our only Fablescon, the cherished memories will be enough.
The bar menu Brad Thomte gave us featuring my Hex on the Beach and Bloody Mary Quite Contrary puns didn’t hurt either.
If you want to read a recap of Fabletown and Beyond that put it much better than me, check out Timothy Callahan’s When Words Collide on Comic Book Resources.