“Fables: 1,001 Nights of Snowfall” is a graphic novel that builds upon the world of a larger series. While people familiar with the book will enjoy it, if you’ve never read a single issue of the parent series, you will still love it just as much. You don’t have to know the series at all to be able to read and enjoy this graphic novel, you only need to have a passing familiarity with fairy tales.

“Fables,” the series, ends this month with a final issue that doubles as a final graphic novel. Using a wide variety of mythological (and, importantly, public domain) figures, the story has presented a world where good and evil fight it out. Snow White and The Big Bad Wolf fight for humanity’s safety, while nefarious foes under the control of “The Adversary,” seek to take over our universe, and various others, for their own purposes.

The impact of the series cannot be stressed enough, from comics to television. Fantasy books are more easily accepted on our shelves, with “Rat Queens” being a clear favorite amongst staff and clientele. In a time before Game of Thrones became the biggest show on TV, Fables was weaving long, intricate fantasy stories with hundreds of characters that would span years. It proved popular enough that the book was optioned to be a television twice, once each by NBC and ABC. Those same networks would pass on the show, but within a few years each managed to debut their own, network-owned, series about Fantasy characters in the real world: Grimm and Once Upon a time.

Public domain, remember?

The absolute pinnacle, in my humble opinion, of the series came in 2006’s “Fables: 1,001 Nights of Snowfall.” It’s a take on “One Thousand and One Arabian Nights,” with our Snow White being sent to negotiate with the Arabian fables. Taking the role of Scheherazade, Snow White is held captive by the Sultan. In order to avoid being beheaded, she tells him a new story every night for 1,001 nights.

The graphic novel includes this framework as a way of presenting 10 different tales about the characters found in the main series. With a rotating cast of artists and styles, each story is a lavishly presented and expertly written by author Bill Willingham.

But, as the series teaches us, life is not a fairy tale. The stories contained within rum the gamut from joyful, to dark, to funny to absolutely heart-wrenching. Bill Willingham knows not only the mythology behind his stories, but he also knows each of his characters intimately, providing exposition for the series and helping to round out characters with an ease that is not replicated often, in comic books or otherwise.

In a golden crown of a graphic novel, the story “A Frog’s Eye View” is the crowning jewel. Painted by longtime cover artist James Jean, the story reveals why the Frog Prince, Flycatcher, turned into a frog. And, disturbingly, lays out the circumstances that led to Flycatcher being an exile in our world, while his family did not. In eight short pages, we’re charmed, shocked and made ill. It is the single most effective use of so few pages as I’ve ever read.

And the comic book community agreed. The graphic novel went on to win two Eisner Awards (that’s our version of the Oscars) for “Best Anthology” and “Best Short Story” for the aforementioned “A Frog’s Eye View.” There are few books that hit the mark so well. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy, it’s an experience to be had.

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