NewThe Fables Reading Order

Fables is a story where all the characters from your favourite fairy tales are live in the modern world and are not always terribly pleased about it.

It’s Vertigo’s second longest running series (behind Hellblazer), and deservedly so – it’s got a rich cast, clever plotting and dialogue, and an apparently bottomless well to draw inspiration from. And after more than a decade of working on the title, it still feels like Willingham is just getting started. If you haven’t already read Bill Willingham’s magnum opus, do yourself a favour and dig into it.

The Fables Timeline started out pretty straightforward, but every new spinoff creates additional complications. Of course, fans like me wouldn’t have it any other way.

Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall
Original collection (October 2006). This collection was released between volumes 7 and 8 of the main series, but consists entirely of prequels to it. However, nearly every volume of the series contains callbacks to it, so it can be read at nearly any point and still enjoyed.
Fables, vol.4: March of the Wooden Soldiers
Reprints Fables #19-21 (January 2004 – March 2004), #23-27 (May 2004 – September 2004) and Fables: The Last Castle (2003).
The story from The Last Castle takes place here by strict chonological order, but the rest of the volume occurs where it is placed below.
Fables: The Wolf Among Us, vol.1
Reprints Fables: The Wolf Among Us #1-7 (March 2015 – September 2015).
The first part of a prequel story set not long before the beginning of the series proper.
Fables: The Wolf Among Us, vol.2
Reprints Fables: The Wolf Among Us #8-16 (October 2015 – June 2016).
The second part of a prequel story set not long before the beginning of the series proper.
Fables, vol.1: Legends in Exile
Reprints Fables #1-5 (July 2002 – November 2002). Also contains an original prose story that occurs between the main action of the book and 1001 Nights of Snowfall.
Fables, vol.2: Animal Farm
Reprints Fables #6-10 (December 2002 – April 2003).
Fables, vol.3: Storybook Love
Reprints Fables #11-18 (May 2003 – December 2003).
Fables, vol.4: March of the Wooden Soldiers
Reprints Fables #19-21 (January 2004 – March 2004), #23-27 (May 2004 – September 2004) and Fables: The Last Castle (2003).
The majority of this volume occurs at this point, but the story from The Last Castle takes place where it is located above.
Fables, vol.5: The Mean Seasons
Reprints Fables #22 (April 2004) and #28-33 (October 2004 – March 2005).
Fables, vol.6: Homelands
Reprints Fables #34-41 (April 2005 – November 2005).
Fables, vol.7: Arabian Nights (and Days)
Reprints Fables #42-47 (December 2005 – May 2006).
Fables, vol.8: Wolves
Reprints Fables #48-51 (June 2006 – September 2006).
Fables, vol.9: Sons of Empire
Reprints Fables #52-59 (October 2006 – May 2007).
Fables, vol.10: The Good Prince
Reprints Fables #60-69 (June 2007 – March 2008).
Jack of Fables, vol.1: The (Nearly) Great Escape
Reprints Jack of Fables #1-5 (September 2006 – January 2007).
Jack of Fables, vol.2: Jack of Hearts
Reprints Jack of Fables #6-11 (February 2007 – July 2007).
Jack of Fables, vol.3: The Bad Prince
Reprints Jack of Fables #12-16 (August 2007 – December 2007).
NB: despite their publication dates, all three of these Jack of Fables collections occur during The Good Prince – subsequent Jack of Fables volumes line up more smoothly with the main Fables title
Fables, vol.11: War and Pieces
Reprints Fables #70-75 (April 2008 – September 2008).
Peter & Max: A Fables Novel
Original prose novel (October 2009).
Although mostly set earlier than the events of War and Pieces, this is best read after for the events of its epilogue.
Jack of Fables, vol.4: Americana
Reprints Jack of Fables #17-21 (January 2008 – May 2008).
Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love
Reprints Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love #1-6 (January 2010 – June 2010).
Although published later, this story logically must occur between War and Pieces and The Dark Ages based on internal references.
Jack of Fables, vol.5: Turning Pages
Reprints Jack of Fables #22-27 (June 2008 – December 2008).
Jack of Fables, vol.6: The Big Book of War
Reprints Jack of Fables #28-32 (January 2009 – May 2009).
Fables, vol.12: The Dark Ages
Reprints Fables #76-82 (November 2008 – May 2009).
The conclusions of these last two volumes both lead into The Great Fables Crossover.
Fables, vol.13: The Great Fables Crossover
Reprints Fables #83-85, Jack of Fables #33-35 and The Literals #1-3 (all June 2009 – August 2009).
Jack of Fables, vol.7: The New Adventures of Jack and Jack
Reprints Jack of Fables #36-40 (September 2009 – January 2010).
Fables, vol.14: Witches
Reprints Fables #86-93 (September 2009 – April 2010).
Jack of Fables, vol. 8: The Fulminate Blade
Reprints Jack of Fables #41-45 (February 2010 – June 2010).
Fables, vol.15: Rose Red
Reprints Fables #94-100 (June 2010 – January 2011).
Cinderella: Fables Are Forever
Reprints Cinderella: Fables Are Forever #1-6 (April 2011 – September 2011).
Slightly overlaps the conclusion of Rose Red, but is best read after.
Fairest, vol.2: Hidden Kingdom
Reprints Fairest #8-14 (December 2012 – June 2013).
Contains two stories and is placed here based on the timing of the second one. The first story, although longer and set shortly before Fables, vol.1: Legends in Exile, assumes a knowledge of the characters that a new reader would not possess at that point, hence the book’s placement here.
Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland
Original graphic novel (November 2012).
Occurs between Rose Red and Super Team.
Fables, vol.16: Super Team
Reprints Fables #101-107 (March 2011 – September 2011).
Fairest, vol.1: Wide Awake
Reprints Fairest #1-7 (May 2012 – November 2012).
Fables, vol.17: Inherit the Wind
Reprints Fables #108-113 (October 2011 – March 2012).
Fables, vol.18: Cubs in Toyland
Reprints Fables #114-123 (April 2012 – January 2013), excluding backup stories.
Fables, vol.19: Snow White
Reprints Fables #124-129 (February 2013 – July 2013) & backup stories from Fables #114-123 (April 2012 – January 2013).
Fairest, vol.3: The Return of the Maharaja
Reprints Fairest #15-20 (July 2013 – December 2013).
Fables, vol.20: Camelot
Reprints Fables #130-140 (August 2013 – July 2014).
Fairest, vol.4: Cinderella – Of Men and Mice
Reprints Fairest #21-26 (February 2014 – July 2014).
Fairest In All The Land
Original graphic novel (November 2012).
Fables, vol.21: Happily Ever After
Reprints Fables #141-149 (August 2014 – April 2015).
Confirmed to take place after Fairest in all the Land.
Fairest, vol.5: The Clamour for Glamour
Reprints Fairest #27-33 (September 2014 – March 2015).
Contains two stories, one of which parallels Happily Ever After, the other serving as a prequel to Fairest in all the Land.
Jack of Fables, vol.9: The End
Reprints Jack of Fables #46-50 (August 2010 – April 2011).
This volume is difficult to place in continuity, as it is set several years – though not a specified number of years – after the preceding volume of Jack. It may yet have its position in this timeline adjusted as more information comes to light. For the time being, it definitely takes place after Fairest In All The Land, based on the appearance of the Page sisters in both volumes.
Fables, vol.22: Farewell
Reprints or replaces Fables #150 (June 2015).
The final volume of the series.
Fables Encyclopedia
Contains spoilers for issues up to Fables #121.
Everafter, vol.1: The Pandora Protocol
Reprints Everafter: From the pages of Fables #1-6 (November 2016 – April 2017).
Everafter, vol.2: The Unsentimental Education
Reprints Everafter: From the pages of Fables #7-12 (May 2017 – October 2017).
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One Comment

  1. This post is for the many of you have played the excellent “The Wolf Among Us” by Telltale games, and have had your interest piqued regarding the Fables universe.

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