After many years of disputes between Bill Willingham and DC Comics, the Fables case has now finally been resolved. Although he has done it in a surprising way.
The dispute over the rights to Fábulas has ended with the franchise in the public domain. Bill Willingham, creator of one of the longest-running and most acclaimed series in the Vertigo line at DC Comics and which was recently resurrected by the Black Label label, has put an end to all these years of conflict.
The cartoonist has revealed that he is going to put the Fables characters in the public domain after all this time fighting with DC’s publisher over the contractual rights to all these creations. Creations that are actually based on Western popular culture.
Ultimately, the story of Fables It is about a group of mythological beings well known to the public (Snow White, Pinocchio, Big Bad Wolf, etc.) leaving the Homelands and becoming refugees on planet Earth, walking among humans.
Although artists of the stature of Mark Buckingham and Steve Leialoha were part of the creative team of Fábulas for most of its career, the truth is that only Bill Willingham had the intellectual property rights associated with the brand.
What is going to happen with Fables from now on?
According to Bill Willingham’s announcement, “as of today, September 15, 2023, ownership of the comic book called Fables, including all of its spin-offs and characters, enters the public domain. What was once my property is now everyone’s. Forever”.
“It’s done,” Bill Willingham insisted. “And, as most experts will tell you, once it’s done… It can’t be undone! Buybacks are not contemplated or possible.” A business movement that, despite this, does not affect works already printed.
In fact, Bill Willingham still plans to collect all royalties owed to him for previous works, as well as any future rights over the agreements and licenses that DC makes with the Fables characters. In short, it is more symbolic than anything else.
Let’s hope everything ends up being solved sooner or later. Not only because there is a certain danger with the continuity of current publications, their formats and their editions, but because it would also be nice to see a fables movie or a series inspired by this franchise. People would be amazed in color if they gave the saga an audiovisual opportunity.