Fables is an excellent gateway comic because everyone already knows the main characters. Just about everyone has heard of Snow White, Prince Charming, and the Big Bad Wolf. Of course, they may be a little surprised to find that Snow White has become a cynical workaholic, Prince Charming is a philanderer with three failed marriages (to Snow, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella) under his belt, and that the Big Bad Wolf is now the sheriff of Fabletown (the neighborhood where all of the fables secretly live among the normals).
Writer Bill Willingham has put together an imaginative series that speaks to the reader's inner child and jaded, embittered adult simultaneously. Pencillers Lan Medina and Mark Buckingham (among others) render a world that is equally magical and grounded in reality. And the painted covers by James Jean are simply stunning (DC/Vertigo were wise to include them in each volume).
Recommended for: anyone who ever had fairy tales read to them as a child; fans of Into The Woods, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, and/or Wicked.
Not recommended for: people who only know these characters from their Disney cartoons.