||This article describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (March 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
|State||New York City|
|Established||After 1625, Before 1665|
|• Mayor||Prince Charming|
|• Deputy Mayor||Beauty|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
Fabletown is the fictional, clandestine community of "Fables" resident in New York in the Fables comic book universe. It exists in two locations, one being Bullfinch Street (a reference to Bullfinch's Mythology) in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and the other on a large farm in upstate New York, protected with magical spells that repel non-Fables (generally referred to as Mundanes, or, informally, "Mundys").
Fabletown was founded prior to the British acquisition of the town, when it was known as New Amsterdam, putting the founding date somewhere between 1625, when New Amsterdam was founded, and 1665, when the name was changed to New York, in all probability towards the latter end of that period, when an influx of people would be less remarked on.
The New York City Fabletown is restricted to Fables who are, or can pass as, normal humans. Non-human-looking Fables are restricted to the facility known as the Farm, which is resented by many of them, as they feel that, regardless of the Farm's comforts and large size, to quote Posey of the Three Little Pigs, "it is a prison, because we aren't allowed to leave!"
King Cole, shortly after being voted mayor of Fabletown, was forced to sign the act banishing all non-human Fables from Fabletown and form the Farm. This was because of the approaching Mundy expansion of New York and the impossibility to hide the non-human fables from them.
While Fabletown is run, ostensibly, along democratic lines, in practice many of the same people have stayed in office for centuries, at least until recently. The longtime mayor was Old King Cole, who delegated much of his work to his deputy mayor. A number of fables have served as deputy mayor, including Ichabod Crane, who held the position for 115 years and Snow White, who took over in the mid 1990s after Crane's resignation to avoid charges of sexual harassment and embezzlement. The sheriff of Fabletown was the Big Bad Wolf, now known as Bigby Wolf, who had acquired the ability to assume human form. Bigby was hampered in his work by the agreement that had made him part of the Fable community; many of the less-human Fables had suffered his predations in the "Homelands," and one part of the compromise that was struck to allow him to join the others in the New World was that he should never be allowed on the Farm under any circumstances whatsoever. This would later become a sore point, because his own children would be confined to the Farm, meaning that he could never visit them.
Cole was eventually ousted by the actions of Prince Charming, who discovered that there had not been an election in modern times. Charming wanted the job of Mayor because of Bluebeard's treasure which, with Bluebeard dead, went into the town coffers to be spent by the mayor. He made many campaign promises, particularly with respect to providing free glamour spells or transformations to non-human Fables, allowing them to pass as human and so be able to leave the Farm. Unfortunately, he neglected to consult with Frau Totenkinder and the other resident magic-users before making this promise, leaving him in an uncomfortable position when they informed him that they were already close to the limit of what could be managed and that there was no way that they could mass-produce the spells as he had unwisely promised. His inability to live up to these promises has led to frequent calls for his resignation. Neither Snow nor Bigby were willing to work alongside the new Mayor; both resigned, with Bigby going into self-imposed exile and Snow moving to the Farm to look after their children. Charming has appointed Beauty and the Beast to take their places as Deputy Mayor and Sheriff respectively. Both are settling into their roles and Charming seems to be a fit leader, as he was raised to be king and well understands sacrifice for duty.
More recently, Prince Charming resigned as Mayor in favor of Cole, so that he could devote his time to the war with the Empire of the Adversary. Charming seems to have died in that war. As a result of actions by Mr. Dark, the Bulfinch Street section of Fabletown crumbled to pieces. Mayor Cole then led the survivors to the Farm to regroup and contemplate what to do next.
Only a small number of Fables actually work in the government (Snow White explains early on that Fables generally don't believe in big government). Many run their own Fabletown businesses, which include:
- The Chateau d'If Fencing Academy, owned by Edmond Dantès.
- Edward Bear's Candy Shop, which specializes in honey-based treats. It may or may not be run by a character from Winnie-the-Pooh.
- The Glass Slipper Shoe Store, owned by Cinderella.
- I am the Eggman Diner. According to Bill Willingham, this is not based on the Beatles song. The business is run by Vulco of the Crow brothers.
- Nod's Books, which sells, among other reading materials, a variety of comic books aimed specifically at the Fable market. Many of these have titles that are puns on existing comic books (examples include Red Riding Hood Returns and the Uncanny Oz-Men).
- The Branstock Tavern. Named after a legendary tree from Norse mythology into which Odin plunged a powerfully magical sword. It may be run by Sigmund or another character from the same story.
- The Yellow Brick Roadhouse, a reference to the yellow brick road from The Wizard of Oz.
- Web n' Muffet's Market, owned by Little Miss Muffet and her arachnid husband, Mr. Web (the spider made over into a human form; he was accidentally killed by Ghost, the zephyr cub of Bigby and Snow White)
- Grand Green Florist Shop.
- Lewis Antiques, which is supposed to house a wardrobe in the back, presumably from The Chronicles of Narnia.
- Ford Laundromat, run by a washer woman, which is a reference to the bean nighe.
- Stone Soup, a high-end restaurant named after the magic stone soup.
- N. Rhyme Construction, who handled the rebuilding process after the Battle of Fabletown.
The Fabletown hospital is the Special Research Wing of the Knights of Malta hospital, run by Doctor Swineheart, aided by the redoubtable Mrs Sprat. The Woodlands, which houses the Fabletown government and has several floors of apartments, is the most prestigious address in Fabletown. There is a years-long waiting list to get housing there.
As a retirement package to Bigby for his years of service, he was given the Valley of the Big Sleepers, since it was now empty of its sleeping giants and dragons. This way, Bigby could have a big patch of land to live on that is not in the city nor on the farm and he can raise his children with Snow White. Currently, Snow and Bigby live in a mansion, constructed by Boy Blue and many others as a wedding present, on the property with their children. Nobody is allowed into Wolf Valley without permission.
Fabletown has always been kept deeply secret from the mundane authorities. During the Battle of Fabletown, Snow White enlisted the various Fable magic-users to create a thunderstorm and various other illusions to keep the mundanes from seeing what was going on. Fabletown has its own system of laws, including capital punishment or imprisonment at hard labor on the Farm for criminal Fables, or those who reveal their true nature to Mundanes.
With this in mind, many Fables have specific restrictions on their activities, designed to avoid giving away their nature. The most prominent example of this is Rapunzel, who is barred from spending more than 25 minutes with any mundane because of her rapid hair growth. She is also required to have three haircuts a day.
Not content with the vast lands he held, the Adversary has begun a major push into the Arabian Fable lands. As a result, a delegation led by Sinbad arrived at Fabletown to negotiate a possible alliance. The proceedings started poorly when the two sides clashed over Sinbad's slaves; they got much worse when one of Sinbad's sorcerers released a djinn with orders to kill Fabletown's top officials.
Frau Totenkinder used her magic to stop the djinn, and though Kay was able to determine that Sinbad did not order its release, the Arab leader was still blamed for bringing it to Fabletown. This was construed as an act of war, and the Fabletown government decided that Sinbad would be banished for life. The only way he could return was as a head of state; thus Prince Charming suggested that the Arabs form Fabletown East. Though it is a distinct state, Fabletown East's charter is heavily based on New York's. Old King Cole was selected as ambassador; when he arrived, he discovered that the Arab fables still lived in mythic (not mundane) Baghdad, which was as yet untouched by the Adversary. Currently, Fabletown East is fortifying itself for a battle with the Adversary and preparing, if necessary, a controlled, orderly flight to the mundane world. In addition to Sinbad and Cole, its known residents include Ali Baba and Aladdin.