Welcome to today’s entry to the Countdown to Fables #100, where on Tuesday and Friday I recap a story told within the pages of Fables. This will happen up until issue #100 is released on November 24th. If you’re new to the countdown, an archive of all previous entries can be found under our Special Features menu. Today’s story is titled “Burning Questions.” In this story, the author, Bill Willingham, takes questions submitted by the readers and answers them in a series of short stories. The recap will be divided into those questions. The identity of the Adversary/Emperor does not appear in the recap, which is after the break.
Did Hakim ever manage to get a regular job? (Art by M. K. Perker) Beauty first got Hakim a job at a bookstore, but that didn’t work out when he tried to tell a woman that she was buying a particular book, then insulted her when she didn’t want. Next was a job at Cinderella’s shoe store, but a similar circumstance happens when he tells a woman that the shoes she wants are for a harlot, and he will find her something decent.
How does Bufkin keep getting his hands on the liquor? (Art by Jim Rugg) Prince Charming is upset that Bufkin keeps finding a way to steal his liquor even though he keeps it looked up. Beauty tells Prince he’s able to do it because he reads a lot. Prince Charming finds Bufkin with a book on lock-picking, and threatens him if he ever does it again. That night Bufkin is reading a book titled “The Art of Political Assassination.”
What is training like for a new member of the Mouse Police? (Art by Mark Buckingham) A drill sergeant tells recruits that they must run two miles in two hours, complete their confidence course in three minutes, swim five miles against the current, kill a mundy rat bare-handed and eat it’s heart, and then defeat a Gulliver-sized (normal) opponent in single combat. Some recruits start questioning if they can leave. One mouse in the distance tells another that this is the sergeant’s way of thinning down the ranks because he’ll cut the first recruit that faints.
Did Jack leave anyone messages before he left Fabletown forever? (Art by Andrew Pepoy) Before leaving, with tiny Jill nagging at him, Jack called Rose Red, another Jill, and a girl named Kate. He tells all of them that they were the one that he wanted to spend his life with.
How are the new Three Little Pigs adjusting to being pigs? (Art by Joelle Jones) The new Three Little Pigs, who used to be giants, come up to Boy Blue and Rose Red. Rose tells them that Blue can’t play because he’s working. The pigs act like they are still giants and threaten to crush them with their massive feet, and catch them if they run with their long strides. Rose calls them weird and ignores them.
Besides Fly, who else has asked questions of the magic mirror? (Art by D’Israeli) Prince Charming asked the mirror if he’d win his bid for mirror, to which the mirror replied that he didn’t know, but he hasn’t earned his vote. Bufkin asked where the key to the liquor cabinet was hidden and the mirror told him that he was feeling drowsy and his rhymes were lousy. Jack asked how to get into one of Bluebeard’s treasure rooms, and the mirror wouldn’t answer because he didn’t put it into a rhyme. Jack told him it was free verse.
What is Boy Blue’s favorite song? (Art by Jill Thompson) Bigby Wolf asks Boy Blue to recommend a song he can dance to at the Remembrance Day Ball. Boy Blue gives Bigby some choices on the type of song, and Bigby picks slow, sultry and romantic.
What song was playing when Snow and Bigby first danced together at the Remembrance Day Ball? (Art by Jill Thompson) At that ball, when Bigby and Snow get on the dance floor, Boy Blue begins playing “Blue Skies.” Snow says she loves this song, and asks if he ordered this for her. He says maybe, and does he earn points if he did.
What is Frau Totenkinder knitting? (Art by David Lapham) Beauty and Beast ask Frau what she’s knitting. She tells them that it is something for their first born child. Beauty says she’s not pregnant, and Frau says all things in time. She shows them pajama like thing that has four arms, two legs and a tail.
Who was Prince Charming’s first love? (Art by John K. Snyder III) As a small boy, the prince meets a large snail that claims to be a princess. In order to break the spell, Prince must marry her. Prince takes the snail back to his parents to ask for permission. They send him away so they can talk to her, but really they send her to the chef to be cooked, lamenting the amount magic animals that are finding their way into their kingdom, and a daughter wouldn’t be playing with them.
How many romantic conquests has Prince Charming had? (Art by Eric Shanower) Prince Charming is recounting his past to Beauty for inclusion in his memoirs. After having 3 lovers at a dairy farm, it brought the number up to 1,412 by his fifteenth birthday.
Who caught the bouquet at Snow White’s wedding? (Art by Barry Kitson) After several ladies tried to position themselves to get it, Clara the crow/dragon snatched the bouquet out of the air. One of the crow brothers, Joel, harassed Vulco because he’s dating Clara, but Vulco reminds them that is only when he is in crow form.
Most of these are just background stories that provide fun facts and little tidbits of information for the readers. However, knowing the future like I do, the little bit about Bufkin does play into future stories. Otherwise, this is just a bit more of a break before we get into a really long and intense story.
Up next, The Good Prince