1001 Nights of Snowfall

Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall is a graphic novel prequel to the comic book series Fables written by series creator Bill Willingham with a variety of artists.[1] It was released on October 18, 2006 by Vertigo.

In the story Snow White has been sent to negotiate with the Arabian fables. The sultan, considering it an insult that a woman was sent to negotiate, holds her hostage. Snow White tells him a story every night to keep him from beheading her.

Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall
1001 Nights of Snowfall Cover
Cover of Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall
Art by James Jean
DateOctober 18, 2006 (hardcover)
March 5, 2008 (softcover)
Main charactersSnow White
Creative team
WritersBill Willingham
ArtistsCharles Vess
Brian Bolland
John Bolton
Michael Wm. Kaluta
James Jean
Tara McPherson
Derek Kirk Kim
Esao Andrews
Mark Buckingham
Mark Wheatley
Jill Thompson


This tale is set in the 19th century, in the early days of Fabletown, when Snow White was sent as an envoy to the lands of the Arabian Fables. But the Arabian Fables are actually offended that a woman would be sent to negotiate. When she catches the eye of the sultan, Snow finds herself filling the unenviable role of Scheherazade, the teller of the original One Thousand and One Arabian Nights tales.[2]

Snow has to amuse the Sultan with tales of wonder and imagination every night - for a thousand and one nights - to keep her head off the chopping block. We see the stories as Snow tells them in a framing sequence similar to the original. Running the gamut from horror to dark intrigue to mercurial coming-of-age, it reveals the secret histories of familiar characters through a series of compelling and visually illustrative tales.


The ten stories, in order:

A Most Troublesome Woman

Penciled by Michael Wm. Kaluta, inked and painted by Charles Vess. It's the framing story, text with illustrations, like a lavishly illustrated old time storybook. Nineteen pages, seven of which are full splash pages. It is of particular historical note in that it contains the first and to date only appearance of the original planned Adversary, Peter Pan.[3]

The Fencing Lessons

Painted by John Bolton. The longest story in the collection, at 32 or 33 pages, it illustrates the first few days of Snow White and Prince Charming's married life. It also reveals the unpleasant circumstances behind Snow White's problem with dwarves, providing a somewhat darker twist on the original fairytale. Much is seen of Charming's skill with a blade. This story also further explains where Snow and Charming's marriage may have gone wrong.

The Christmas Pies

Painted by Mark Buckingham. Fourteen pages in length, this story focuses on Reynard's behavior in a remote wooded valley, reminiscent of the world of Narnia. In the story, Reynard the Fox tricks the armies of the Adversary into baking and delivering pies to a clearing to replicate the "miracle of the Christmas pies". This ruse allows the trapped animals an opportunity, not only to eat, but to escape from the valley and into the mundane world.

A Frog's Eye View

Painted by James Jean. Eight pages. It concerns Flycatcher's life from the moment he became human and fell in love, as well as some details of his and his family's life living "happily ever after" before the Adversary's forces invaded their kingdom. It is revealed that in the past when Flycatcher (then known as Prince Ambrose) was nervous, afraid or overly excited he would transform into a frog and only transform back into his human form when he was kissed by his wife. The story also covers his last days in the Homelands and reveals the tragic reason why he was able to escape the Adversary's invasion while his wife and children did not.

The Runt

Painted by Mark Wheatley. Thirteen pages long. It's described as a 'dire tale' and focuses on Bigby Wolf's mother, Winter, and the North Wind. It also gives us a glimpse of some of Bigby's past, prior to his reformation.

A Mother's Love

Painted by Derek Kirk Kim. A three-page tale about hares, in which Colonel Thunderfoot (an original character, based on the rabbit mythology of Watership Down) is cursed from harekind to humankind to live out his days until "the true love of a doe of our people restores you to harekind".


Illustrated by Tara McPherson. Fourteen pages long, it revolves around Snow, her sister Rose, and Frau Totenkinder, and includes the first visual look at Snow and Bigby's first meeting. Also used as a framing story for "The Witch's Tale".

The Witch's Tale

Painted by Esao Andrews, "The Witch's Tale" tells us the background of Frau Totenkinder, as well as revealing her many previously unrevealed connections to other fables, such as Hansel and Prince Ambrose.

What You Wish For

Illustrated by Brian Bolland. At two pages, and written as a cautionary tale, it tells the story of a very adventurous girl named Mersey Dotes who has traveled the globe and then wishes to travel the sea and therefore becomes a mermaid. Not too long after Mersey joins the merfolk village under the sea, however, the Adversary launches a capture of sea kingdoms. This causes Mersey to be the "big fish" of the Farm in the mundane world, since she is unable to pass as human in Fabletown. She is seen chatting with Reynard Fox about her discontent with the fact that she is stuck in a little lake and not traveling.

Fair Division

Painted by Jill Thompson. It's about King Cole. It features several of the other Fables that live on the farm, including Mean Little Sunflower Kid, the Badger, the Three Blind Mice, and the Three Bears. The Adversary has attacked Cole's kingdom and he hides with several dedicated subjects. The story shows how Cole makes sure all his people eat first, even if it means he does not eat at all.


In 2007 1001 Nights of Snowfall won two Eisner Awards, one for "Best Anthology" and one for "Best Short Story" for "A Frog’s Eye View".[4]


Critical reception for 1001 Nights of Snowfall was mostly positive.[5] A reviewer for Blogcritics praised the book for being easy to follow along with for new readers,[6] with another reviewer stating that although some of the tales were "throw away", the longer tales were more satisfactory.[7] Tor called the book a "strange hybrid", citing the book's art as its highlight.[8] SF Crowsnest stated that the book was an "excellent graphic novel and practically a must-have title for anyone interested in the 'Fables' universe or modern re-tellings of traditional fairy tales."[9] OregonLive.com praised the artwork by Vess and Kaluta, but criticized Willingham's writing as "particularly disappointing".[10]


  1. ^ A Western Twist on Middle East Literary Traditions NPR
  2. ^ Spencer, Jason. Fairy tale characters revamped in "Fables". Herald-Journal, Oct 12, 2006, p34.
  3. ^ https://fbcdn-photos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/s720x720/537084_831977663135_992932967_n.jpg?dl=1
  4. ^ DC wins big at Eisner Awards Look at OKC
  5. ^ Review: 1001 Nights of Snowfall Publishers Weekly
  6. ^ Comic Review: DC Vertigo Comics - Fables 1,001 Nights of Snowfall Blogcritics
  7. ^ Graphic Novel Review: Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall Archived 2013-04-14 at Archive.today Blogcritics
  8. ^ Fables Reread: 1001 Nights of Snowfall Tor Blog
  9. ^ Fables: 1001 Nights Of Snowfall by Bill Willingham and 11 artists Archived 2013-07-08 at the Wayback Machine SF Crowsnest
  10. ^ 1001 Nights of Snowfall OregonLive.com
2008 in comics

Notable events of 2008 in comics. See also List of years in comics.

Bill Willingham

William "Bill" Willingham (born 1956) is an American writer and artist of comics, known for his work on the series Elementals and Fables.

Charles Vess

Charles Vess (born June 10, 1951) is an American fantasy artist and comics artist who has specialized in the illustration of myths and fairy tales. His influences include British "Golden Age" book illustrator Arthur Rackham, Czech Art Nouveau painter Alphonse Mucha, and comic-strip artist Hal Foster, among others. Vess has won several awards for his illustrations.

Derek Kirk Kim

Derek Kirk Kim is a Korean-American writer, artist and filmmaker. He is currently directing on Amphibia, an animated series airing in 2019 on the Disney Channel. He was also the lead character designer of Adventure Time and a storyboard artist for Green Eggs and Ham. He is also the writer of TUNE and the writer and director of the spin-off webseries, Mythomania. He won all three major comics industry awards, the Eisner (2004), the Harvey (2004), and the Ignatz Award (2003) for his debut graphic novel Same Difference and Other Stories. (The contents of which were originally serialized on his website, formerly known as Lowbright, and Small Stories). This collection of short stories was first published with the help of a 2002 Xeric Award. Kim has also worked on numerous animated shows and shorts, including "Sympathy for Slenderman," a Webby Award nominee in 2014.

Esao Andrews

Esao Andrews is an American painter, working with oil on wood panels. His work blends Gothic grotesque, erotic and surrealism.

Fables (comics)

Fables is an American comic book series created and written by Bill Willingham, published by DC Comics' Vertigo. Willingham served as sole writer for its entirety, with Mark Buckingham penciling more than 110 issues. The series featured various other pencillers over the years, most notably Lan Medina and Steve Leialoha. Fables was launched in July 2002, and concluded in July 2015.

The series features various characters from fairy tales and folklore – referring to themselves as "Fables" – who formed a clandestine community centuries ago within New York City known as Fabletown, after their Homelands have been conquered by a mysterious and deadly enemy known as "The Adversary". It is set in modern-day and follows several of Fabletown's legal representatives, such as sheriff Bigby Wolf, deputy mayor Snow White, her sister Rose Red, Prince Charming, and Boy Blue, as they deal with troublesome Fables and try to solve conflicts in both Fabletown and "the Farm", a hidden town in upstate New York for Fables unable to blend in with human society. The series also deals with such other matters as the main characters' personal lives, their attempts to hide the Fables' true nature from regular humans (or "Mundies"), and, later, the return of the Adversary.

Fables was a critical and commercial success, winning many Eisner Awards and receiving several Hugo Award nominations for Best Graphic Story. Its success led to several spin-offs and a 2013 canon prequel video game titled The Wolf Among Us.

Frau Totenkinder

Frau Totenkinder is a fictional character in the comic book series Fables, created by Bill Willingham. Leader of the magicians of Fabletown, Totenkinder (a pseudonym which literally translates as "dead children" in German) represents many of the unnamed witches found in tales and legends. Her outward appearance as a rather frail old woman masks the fact that she is one of the most powerful Fables to have escaped the Homelands. She has appeared throughout the series as an integral part of the Fabletown community, both defending it against the Adversary's mages and making her own deals with its residents.

Geppetto (Fables)

Geppetto is a major character, albeit one that's rarely seen, in the comic book series Fables, written by Bill Willingham and published by DC Comics as part of the Vertigo imprint.

His actions are responsible for the entire premise of the comic book, in that he is the being known as The Adversary who masterminded the conquest of the Fable homelands, forcing the Fables to flee into the mundane world. During the war against the Empire, he was the primary antagonist of the series before being given amnesty, having his role replaced by Mister Dark.

In 2009, Geppetto was ranked as IGN's 91st Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.

Homelands (Fables)

The Homelands are the mythical lands from fairy tales, folklore, and nursery rhymes in the comic book series Fables. The majority of those listed have been conquered by the mysterious Adversary, as he has conquered most of the European Fable lands. This is a list of the Homelands that have been directly referenced in Fables and its spin-offs Jack of Fables, Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love, Cinderella: Fables are Forever and Fairest.

Jill Thompson

Jill Thompson (born November 20, 1966) is an American comic book writer and illustrator who has worked for stage, film, and television. Well known for her work on Neil Gaiman's The Sandman characters and her own Scary Godmother series, she has worked on The Invisibles, Swamp Thing, and Wonder Woman as well.

List of Eisner Award winners

The following is a list of winners of the Eisner Award, sorted by category.

No awards were presented in 1990 because the Eisner administration was transferred to San Diego Comic-Con during that year.

List of Fables characters

This article is a list of characters in the comic book series Fables and its spin-offs (including Jack of Fables, Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love, Fairest, 1001 Nights of Snowfall, and Peter & Max: A Fables Novel) published by Vertigo Comics.

List of Fables characters (The Homelands)

This article is a list of fictional characters in the Vertigo comic book series Fables, Jack of Fables, Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love, Cinderella: Fables Are Forever and Fairest, published by DC Comics.

These are the Fables who live in the Fable Homelands.

List of Vertigo publications

Vertigo is an American comic book imprint. It is DC Comics' most famous imprint, aimed at "mature readers", and has produced series including The Sandman, Preacher, and Y: The Last Man.

Mark Buckingham

Mark Buckingham is a British comic book artist. He is better known for his work on Marvelman and Fables.

Mark Wheatley (comics)

Mark Wheatley (born May 27, 1954) is an American illustrator, writer, editor, and publisher in the comic book field. Wheatley's comic book and pulp creations include Breathtaker, Mars, and Blood of the Innocent, all illustrated by his frequent collaborator Marc Hempel. Wheatley has written books, comic books, and television shows, and his illustrations have appeared in magazines, books, comic books, and games.

Michael Kaluta

Michael William Kaluta, sometimes credited as Mike Kaluta or Michael Wm. Kaluta (born August 25, 1947), is an American comics artist and writer best known for his acclaimed 1970s adaptation of the pulp magazine hero, The Shadow with writer Dennis O'Neil.

Snow White (Fables)

Snow White is a major character in the comic book series Fables. Her character is based on two myths recorded by the Brothers Grimm, Snow-White and Rose-Red and the more famous Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

Vertigo Comics

DC Vertigo (also known as Vertigo Comics) is an imprint of the American comic book publisher DC Comics. It was created in 1993 to publish stories with more graphic or adult content that could not fit within the restrictions of the Comics Code Authority, thus allowing more creative freedom than DC's main imprint. These comics were free to contain explicit violence, substance and drug abuse, sexuality, nudity, profanity, and other controversial subjects, similar to the content of R-rated films.

Although its initial publications were primarily in the horror and fantasy genres, it has also published works dealing with crime, social commentary, speculative fiction, biography, and other genres. Originally publishing a mix of company- and creator-owned work, its current focus is on the latter. It pioneered in North America an increasingly common publishing model, in which monthly series are periodically comprised into collected editions which are kept in print for bookstore sale.

Vertigo series have won the comics industry's Eisner Award, including the "best continuing series" of various years (The Sandman, Preacher, 100 Bullets, Y: The Last Man and Fables). Several of its publications have been adapted to film (such as Constantine, A History of Violence, Stardust, and V for Vendetta) and episodic television (such as Constantine, iZombie, Lucifer, and Preacher).

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