Fables (Comics) Reading Order: What if magical characters from fairy tales were living among us?

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What if Snow White, Prince Charming, the Big Bad Wolf, Cinderella and other magical characters from fairy tales and folklore existed and were living among us?

Our Reading Order Guide to the Fables Universe

The Fables Universe consists of the Fables series, several spin-offs, a novel and a few graphic novels. On top of that, the series has been released in different collections.

The Story of Fables

When a savage creature, known only as the Adversary, conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, the famous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the normal citizens of modern New York, these magical characters created their own peaceful and secret society, which they called Fabletown.

Fables and its many spin-offs

Click on the title of the series to buy the issues available on Kindle & ComiXology!

Fables (2002-2015, 2022-)
This is the main series focusing our the clandestine community of Fables. Includes also the Original Graphic Novel prequel 1001 Nights of Snowfall (2006) and Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland (2012), another Original Graphic Novel taking place during the main series.

Jack of Fables (2006-2011)
This spin-off focuses on the divisive character of Jack Horner. Written by Bill Willingham and Lilah Sturges, it lasted 50 issues. The story is launched after Fables #35.

Peter & Max: A Fables Novel (2009)
A prose novel set in the Fables universe.

Cinderella (2009-2011)
A spin-off series about Cinderella by Chris Roberson and Shawn McManus. It consists of two limited series – From Fabletown with Love and Fables are Forever -, six-issues each.

Fairest (2012-2015)
Another spin-off on the heroines of Fables, with each arc focusing on a different character. There are 33 issues and a graphic novel.

The Unwritten Fables (2013)
A non-canon and What If? story crossover event between Fables and Mike Carey’s The Unwritten.

Fables: The Wolf Among Us (2014)
A comic book adaptation of the video game by Telltales of the same name. The story is a prequel to Fables and can be read at any time. The tone is different from the main series.

Everafter: From the Pages of Fables (2016-2017)
A Twelve issues follow-up to Fables.

Batman vs. Bigby! A Wolf in Gotham (2021-2022)
This is a weird team-up between Bigby and Batman, taking place after the event of the main series.

Fables Essential Reading Order: Compendium Edition

Though the spin-off and other stories expanded the Fables Universe, you can choose to only read the main series (with a few additions) to have the whole story. The essential of Fables have been recently collected in what DC Comics call the ‘Compendium collection’ (simply huge paperbacks).

Fables: Compendium One (Collects Fables #1-41, Fables: The Last Castle, A Wolf in the Fold, Fables: 1,001 Nights of Snowfall)
Fables: Compendium Two (Collects Fables #42-81, Peter & Max: A Fables Novel)
Fables: Compendium Three (Collects Fables #83-113; Jack of Fables #33-35, The Literals #1-3, Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland #1)
Fables: Compendium Four (Collects Fables #114-149)

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Fables, a box set collecting the four Compendium has been released.

Fables 20th anniversary box set

Fables Deluxe Edition Reading Order

If you prefer hardcover editions, you can purchase Fables in Deluxe Edition. This order also includes the Jack of Fables spin-off, as it has also been released in this collection (though this is still an optional reading).

Fables Deluxe Edition Book One (Fables #1–10)
Fables Deluxe Edition Book Two (Fables #11–18, The Last Castle and A Wolf in the Fold)
Fables Deluxe Edition Book Three (Fables #19–27)
Fables Deluxe Edition Book Four (Fables #28–33, Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall)
Fables Deluxe Edition Book Five (Fables #34–45)
Jack of Fables Deluxe Edition Book One (#1-16)
Fables Deluxe Edition Book Six (Fables #46–51 with maps of Fabletown and the Farm, script for #50)
Fables Deluxe Edition Book Seven (Fables #52–59 and 64)
Fables Deluxe Edition Book Eight (Fables #60–63, 65–69)

Jack of Fables Deluxe Edition Book Two (Jack of Fables #17–32)
Fables Deluxe Edition Book Nine (Fables #70–82)
Fables Deluxe Edition Book Ten (Jack of Fables #33–35, Fables #83–85, The Literals #1–3 and Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland)
Fables Deluxe Edition Book Eleven (Fables #86–100 and the new prose story “Pinocchio’s Army”)
Fables Deluxe Edition Book Twelve (Fables #101–113)
Fables Deluxe Edition Book Thirteen (Fables #114–129)
Fables Deluxe Edition Book Fourteen (Fables #130–140)
Jack of Fables Deluxe Edition Book Three (Jack of Fables #36–50)
Fables Deluxe Edition Book Fifteen (Fables #141–150)

The Fables Universe: The Complete recommended reading order in trade paperbacks

Finally, if you want to read the complete story with all the prequel, sequel and spin-offs, this is the complete reading order with the trade paperbacks.

Fables the Wolf Among Us: Vol. 1 (Fables the Wolf Among Us #1-8)
Fables the Wolf Among Us: Vol. 2 (Fables the Wolf Among Us #9-16)
Fables: Legends in Exile (Fables #1–5 and the new prose story “A Wolf in the Fold”)
Fables: Animal Farm (Fables #6–10)
Fables: Storybook Love (Fables #11–18)
Fables: March of the Wooden Soldiers (The Last Castle one-shot and Fables #19–21, 23–27)
Fables: The Mean Seasons (Fables #22, 28–33)
Fables: Homelands (Fables #34–41)
Jack of Fables: The (Nearly) Great Escape (Jack of Fables #1–5)
Fables: Arabian Nights (and Days) (Fables #42–47)
1001 Nights of Snowfall (One-shot Graphic novel)
Fables: Wolves (Fables #48–51, maps of Fabletown and the Farm, script for #50)
Fables: Sons of Empire (Fables #52–59)
Fables: The Good Prince (Fables #60–69)
Jack of Fables: Jack of Hearts (Jack of Fables #6–11)
Jack of Fables: The Bad Prince (Jack of Fables #12–16)
Jack of Fables: Americana (Jack of Fables #17-21)
Fables: War and Pieces (Fables #70-75)
Peter & Max (novel)
Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love (Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love #1-6)
Fables: The Dark Ages (Fables #76-82)
Jack of Fables: Turning Pages (Jack of Fables #22-27)
Jack of Fables: The Books of War (Jack of Fables #28-32)
Fables: The Great Fables Crossover (Fables 83-85, The Literals 1-3, Jack of Fables 33-35).
Jack of Fables: The New Adventures of Jack and Jack (Jack of Fables #36-40)
Jack of Fables: The Fulminate Blade (Jack of Fables #41-45)
Fables: Witches (Fables #86–93)
Fables: Rose Red (Fables #94–100 and the new prose story “Pinocchio’s Army”)
Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland (One-shot Graphic novel)
Cinderella: Fables Are Forever (Cinderella: Fables Are Forever #1-6).
Fables: Super Team (Fables #101–107)
The Unwritten Fables (The Unwritten #50-55)
Fairest: Wide Awake (Fairest #1-7)
Fairest: Hidden kingdom (Fairest #8-14)
Fairest: The Return of the Maharaja (Fairest #15-20)
Fables: Inherit the Wind (Fables #108–113)
Fables: Cubs in Toyland (Fables #114–123)
Fables: Snow White (Fables #124–129 and the Oz backup stories from #114–123)
Fables: Camelot (Fables #130–140)
Fairest in all the Land (Original Graphic Novel)
Jack of Fables: The End (Jack of Fables #46-50)
Fairest: Cinderella – Of Men and Mice (Fairest #21-26)
Fables: Happily Ever After (Fables #141–149)
Fairest: The Clamour for Glamour (Fables #27-32)
Fables: Farewell (Fables #150, plus several extras)
Batman Vs. Bigby! A Wolf In Gotham (Batman Vs. Bigby! A Wolf In Gotham #1-6)
Everafter: The Pandora Protocol (Everafter: From the Pages of Fables#1-6)
Everafter: The Unsentimental Education (Everafter: From the Pages of Fables#7-12)

More Fables Books

Fables Covers: The Art of James Jean
The exquisite Fable covers by James Jean collected in one extraordinary volume

Fables Encyclopedia
Exhaustively researched by author Jess Nevins, these annotations fill in details hailing down from ancient myth and forgotten civilizations of the timeless figures that compose the world of Fabletown, including Snow White, Bigby Wolf, Boy Blue and many more. Warning! The book contains spoilers up to volume 18 of Fables and volume 1 of Fairest.

Snow and Bigby in Fables

More about Fables Comics

How many issues are there in Fables?

As of today, there are more than 150 issues of the main series Fables. As the title is ongoing, the number is still growing.

Is Fables comic still going?

Fables was launched in July 2002 and lasted 150 issues, arriving at a natural conclusion in July 2015. The series was revived in 2022 for a new 12-issue continuation and a six-issue spin-off. The title is right now still going!

The inspiration behind Fables

Fairy tales, myths, and folklore are the inspiration behind Fables. The comics revisit classic characters and present a modern sequel to those old fairy tales written by the brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson and more. The characters are all in the public domain.

Is there an adaptation of the Fables comics?

Not yet! At some point, a television series based on the comics was put up in development, first by NBC and later by ABC. But nothing came of it, and the latter choose to explore fairy tales characters with another series, Once Upon a Time, which has no connection with Fables.

In 2015, Warner Bros. wanted to make a movie adaptation, but it was canceled. Since then, no news about a possible adaptation has surfaced.

Fables #150 by Nimit Malavia.

About the author of Fables

Fables is a creation of Bill Willingham, who wrote the main series and some of its spin-off. The title was mostly drew by Mark Buckingham.

More about Bill Willingham

Born in 1956, Bill Willingham is an American writer, penciller and inker who got his start in the late 1970, early 1980s, as an illustrator for role playing game products for TSR, Inc.

Before Fables, Bill Willingham first gained attention with his superhero comic book series Elementals, published by Comico Comics. He also wrote on the Robin series for DC Comics, from 2004 to 2006.

More about Mark Buckingham

Mark Buckingham is a British comic book artist who started his career as an illustrator for the British satire magazine called The Truth. There, he worked for the first time, but not the last, with Neil Gaiman.

He worked with Gaiman on Miracleman, but also as an inker for several issues of The Sandman and Death.