Fables Creator Bill Willingham Places Intellectual Property into the Public Domain
Popular comic book author and artist Bill Willingham, known for his work on Fables and the inspiration behind Telltale’s The Wolf Among Us game, has made the surprising decision to release the rights to the Fables intellectual property into the public domain. In a statement on his Substack, Willingham announced that as of September 15, 2023, Fables, along with all its spin-offs and characters, is now owned by everyone for all time.
This move is motivated by practicality and a shift in Willingham’s philosophy regarding trademark and copyright laws. He expresses concerns about the handling of the Fables properties by DC Comics and their violation of agreements. Allegedly, DC allowed Telltale to make significant changes to the characters, settings, history, and story premises without consulting or compensating him appropriately.
Willingham’s decision to place Fables in the public domain serves as a way to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. He states, „If I couldn’t prevent Fables from falling into bad hands, at least this is a way I can arrange for it to also fall into many good hands. Since I truly believe there are still more good people in the world than bad ones, I count it as a form of victory.”
The repercussions of this move are yet to be seen, and Willingham’s decision raises questions about the future of the Fables universe. DC Comics has not issued a formal response, leaving fans curious about their stance.
In the midst of this announcement, Telltale Games has delayed the release of The Wolf Among Us 2 until 2024. The game’s development has been eventful, with its initial announcement in 2017, the closure of the studio in 2018, and an unexpected revival in 2019. The new iteration, co-developed by AdHoc Studio, led by original co-director Nick Herman, has been pushed back from its expected 2023 launch window to prioritize avoiding burnout and crunch at the studio.
– Bill Willingham, Substack [No URL provided]
– Fables creator Bill Willingham puts entire series into the public domain, Eurogamer [No URL provided]