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'Once Upon a Time,' 'Fables' among recent trend of fairy tales for adults

Comics explore classic characters in new situations.
by Matthew Price Published: October 4, 2013

Fairy tales continue to delight fantasy fans. But while such tales once may have been the province of youngsters, today's fairy-tale fantasies are often intended for adults.

The third season of ABC's “Once Upon a Time” drew 8 million viewers on Sunday, up from the 7.3 million viewers for May's Season 2 finale. The show, based on fairy tales and fables, recently spun off into an original graphic novel from Marvel Comics.

“Once Upon a Time: Shadow of the Queen” is a graphic fiction tie-in to the ABC series, plotted by series writer and co-producer Dan Thomsen and co-written by Corinna Bechko. The graphic novel, which fits into the official continuity of “Once Upon a Time,” features the art of Nimit Malavia, Vasilis Lolos, Mike Del Mundo, Mike Henderson and others.

The NBC series “Grimm,” which mixes police procedurals with fantasy, returns Oct. 25, and it also features a comics tie-in. Dynamite Entertainment publishes the ongoing comics series “Grimm,” and the first trade paperback collection is slated for November.

An official tie-in isn't the only way for comic-book fans to get a fairy-tale fix. The following are some fairy-tale inspired comics (and one video game) that haven't yet made their way to television.


Bill Willingham created this long-running series about fable characters in the real world, drawn primarily by Mark Buckingham, though other artists also contributed. The first story arc, “Legends in Exile,” features the former Big Bad Wolf attempting to solve the murder of Snow White's sister, Rose Red.


A spinoff from “Fables,” “Fairest” focuses on female fairy-tale characters. Written by Willingham and others, “Fairest” explores the unrevealed backgrounds of Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Cinderella, The Snow Queen, Thumbelina, Snow White, Rose Red and others.

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by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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