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Warden of Fablewood

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We sat down in April with William Ward, editor of Ape Entertainment’s Fablewood anthology, to get the lowdown on the new fantasy anthology. Fablewood is now in Previews (NOV07 3306) and we are joined again by William to find out, what’s new, and what we can expect from Fablewood.

You can find our previous interview  here.

BROKEN FRONTIER: When we last spoke Fablewood had just put out an open call for submissions under the Ape Entertainment banner. What has changed since we first spoke with you?

WILLIAM WARD: So much has changed I am not sure where to start. When we last spoke Ape Entertainment had just signed the project, and with our open call we were starting to look at submissions. The amount of submissions was quite large, and thanks to Ape encouraging some of its in-house talent to submit, the ratio of high quality talent was exceptional. I guess I was surprised by the amount of submissions we received, as I was so used to working on the project without a publisher that I was more used to begging people to take part. By the time we were done we a had 144 page book done and a large head start on expanding Fablewood to two volumes.

BF: Sounds like big changes. Can you walk us through the final roster?

WW: We have added a number of talented newcomers to our line-up, both from inside Ape and from general submissions we received. Joe Infunari (Oni Talent Search, Borrowed Time), Sarah Mensinga (Flight #4) Axel Machain (Metal Hurlant), and Joe Suitor (Popgun Anthology) will all be featured in Volume #1 along with a number of newcomers.

Volume #1 full line-up includes:

"Die a Hero" Steve Kinder, Kevin Crossley

"Solace" JP Ahonen

"A Vicious Circle" JJ Nass, Elanor Cooper

"Blessings" Ryan Ottley , Manny Trembley, William Ward

"Under the Midnight Sun" Chris Studabaker, Dusty Neal

"The Spirits & the Woods" Scott Hallett

"Mandala" by Joe Infurnari

"J’nee, Where Are You?" By Joe Suitor

"The Ancient Pact" by Axel Machain

"Unworthy" by Daniel Lafrance

"Fish" by Sarah Mensinga

"A Tale of Two Shifters" Written by Troy Dye, Penciled by Collin Fogel,

Colored by Dustin Evans,

"The Cloudleapers of Blue Pine Mountain" by Jonathan Dalton

For those who have noticed names from our previous interview missing, fear not, as those talented folks will be joining Volume #2 along with quite a few new faces.

BF: J.P. Ahonen and Sarah Mensinga both have stories in the latest edition

of Flight? How did they end up taking part in Fablewood?

WW: Before we signed with Ape Entertainment I came across J.P. Ahonen’s work online. It was very early on, just after I decided that the project was getting to the point that finding a publisher was a realistic goal. An active member of the Flight boards, J.P. posted on the boards about the open call for stories, it was the post that led to the submission of "Fish" by Sarah Mensinga. Fablewood also gained quite a few submissions from other members of the Flight message boards and we accepted two very well told stories out of those, "The Cloudleapers of Blue Pine Mountain" by Jonathan Dalton and "The Spirits & the Woods" by Scott Hallett.

       

BF: The Popgun anthology from Image Comics also recently published a short story from Joe Suitor that connects with his story in Fablewood?

WW: Well, it is not a continuation, but the main character that appear in both stories. Joe actually talked about this on an interview he took part in for Popgun, pointing out that both stories are drawn from the longer Monoluminant—a book that he is currently working on. Axel Machain who created "The Ancient Pact" for Fablewood has also had some experience with popular anthologies—two of the biggest actually. Axel has seen print in both Heavy Metal and in Metal Hurlant. We have been lucky enough to have a lot of people experienced with anthologies involved in this project. I really think that is important, as it is in some ways its own unique sub-medium. Long form and short form comics can be very different—and I think the experience shows through.

BF: Last time you talked about your fantasy influences. Has this project been influenced by specific anthologies as well?

WW: Both graphic and prose anthologies have influenced me quite a bit. I just finished reading "The Best Time Travel Stories of the 20th Century" and it really serves as a reminder of how great anthologies can be at gathering together talent both known and unknown to best serve the book. I think that is what many anthologies out today in comics do as well. Flight, Metal Hurlant, Postcards, Heavy Metal, and Popgun Anthology are just a few examples of books that have done a great job gathering stories.

BF:Any favorite anthology tales?

WW: I have also always considered Mignola’s "The Corpse" to be an anthology tale. It is an all time favorite for me, not sure how many times I have read it.

       

BF:Back to Fablewood. Any stories that really stand out for you, any favorites?

WW: There are plenty of stand outs, but as for picking favorites, that is to much like saying who your favorite children are. "The Phototaker" by Guy Davis and Thierry Frissen in Metal Hurlant #9 and Paul Pope’s “Teenage Sidekick” I really enjoy as well. There are almost too many from Flight: “Outside my Window” and “Monster Slayers” from Khang Le, “The Cloud” by Bill Plympton, “Tea” by Reagan Lodge, “The Window Maker” by Kazu, and “The Forever Box” by Sarah Mensinga are just a few.

BF: Any final thoughts on Fablewood? Has it been what you expected?

WW: It definitely has not been what I expected, and I know I have gained huge respect for the guys out there making anthologies issue after issue, volume after volume. It is an amazing amount of work. The final product is not what I expected either. I honest can said when I first started I did not expect to have people involved who’s work I had read and respected. It really has just been a blast!

As for final thoughts, I would be remiss if I didn’t close with: Check out your local comic shops at the end of this month and pick up a copy. Hope you enjoy it.

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