Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Peter & Max by Bill Willingham

A new stand-alone FABLES NOVEL from award-winning and wildly acclaimed author, Bill Willingham.

This story stars Peter Piper and his incorrigible brother Max in a tale about jealousy, betrayal and revenge. Set in two distinct time periods, prepare to travel back to medieval times and learn the tragic back-story of the Piper family, a medieval-era family of traveling minstrels. Then, jump into the present to follow a tale of espionage as Peter Piper slowly hunts down his evil brother for a heinous crime, pitting Peter's talents as a master thief against Max's dark magical powers.

Based on the long-running and award-winning comic book series FABLES, PETER AND MAX is its own tale. Readers don't have to be familiar with the comics to fully enjoy and understand this book.
Welcome to another buddy review with Heather! One of my favourite features on my blog at the moment. She is the red text. Enjoy!

So, what did you think of the first official Fables NOVEL? Did it live up to your expectations? Exceed them? No? Yes?

I loved it! I am still a bit iffy with graphic novels, I have to be honest. I enjoy looking at pictures, but I am a lot better with words. Even when I read graphic novels I have to keep reminding myself that the pictures tell the story, too, so I have to look at them! With a book only with words (predominately) I can read the story for what it is and not worry that I am not paying attention to the pictures. I was worried that I was too excited about this book and that it wouldn't live up to those expectations, but I have to say that I loved this book! Bill Willingham has taken one of my favourite things, fairy tales, and created a fantastic story that I demand more from now! I don't know if he can do any wrong... What did you think?

Oh, I loved it too! I love the graphic novels (even though I too have to remind myself to look at the pictures sometimes) but have always been left with the feeling I needed...more...at the end of each one. Peter & Max definitely gave more! I loved the richness of it, there was just so much to read and think about and enjoy!

Yes, it built on the story a lot more than the graphic novels are capable of doing. You feel like you really know the characters. There were still graphics in the book, but instead of being the main thing they were just randomly placed throughout. What did you think of the artwork?
I thought the artwork was gorgeous! I love ink drawings and Steven Leialoha's work in general, so putting the two together was marvelous. I thought it did a great job of not only connecting the book to the graphic novels, but connecting the book to the whole fairytale/folk tale universe. It felt very Arthur Rackham-ish to me. Very dreamy and timeless. What did you think?

I really liked it! It really added to the book, but it didn't take away from it. He really is gifted in creating a world that you get caught up in, but you also get to see the artist interpretation of the character and stories. On the same wave-length, what did you think about the cover?

I liked it! It's all menacing and evocative. It doesn't give very much away, which I usually like in a book covers. You?
I agree with you. I still think it is great, though. There is something appealing about it! I am glad I bought it in hardcover. There are just some books that should be bought that way, and this is one of them!

Definitely. So, what did you think of the story? Did you like the way Willingham used Peter and Max in their Fables? (Does that make sense?)

Yeah, that makes sense. You know, until I read this series I didn't know that the same characters were used over and over again like they are! Some are obvious, like Prince Charming, but others didn't even occur to me. So, I really learn a lot reading these books. I mean, he managed to tie in how Peter had a wife who lived in a pumpkin. I was pretty impressed with how he worked that out. I thought he wrote Max and Peter really well. I have read a couple books this year on the the Pied Piper fable, and I thought this was another excellent example of it. And, I loved how he wrote Bo in, of Bo Peep fame! What did you think?

Yes, I was impressed with how he worked in a lot of things. The pumpkin, the pickled peppers, the Pied Piper...all those Ps... And I loved how he worked in Bo Peep too. And I liked how he met different, familiar to the GN readers, Fables throughout the story, like Bigby, Snow White, Old King Cole, Ichabod Crane, etc. I thought that was really cool, to see those characters as they were hundreds of years ago. I especially loved the two extremely different flutes. I thought that was really interesting.

Heather has part two, so head over to her blog to read the rest!


  1. Is this book available in all bookstores? The story sounds interesting! ^_^

  2. Okay, this is definitely going on my Christmas wish list! Sounds like a great read.
    I don't "do" graphic novels, but it's a genre I'm going to try to get into in 2010.SO I will look into these graphic novels also.

  3. One of the reasons I don't buy graphic novels is because of the price. They're quite expensive... But this one sounds so good I might give it a shot.

  4. Oh I want, I want SO much! Wonder how I hadn't heard of this until now?

  5. I REALLY need to stop doing this thing where I only comment on posts in my head :P Very happy to hear this lived up to your expectations - I know how high they were!

  6. I was drawn to this book and your description of it, especially the part about jealousy and betrayal, because you'll find that kind of mess of human emotion in "Love Tag" by Peter Shianna -- which is NOT a graphic novel, however. But emotions are emotions, and I think people will always enjoy a novel that speaks to kind of universal human experiences, such as family, issues with kids, ambition, infidelity, etc. Many bad things happen to good people because many good people do bad things -- so here's a question. How do good people who do bad things find redemption?

  7. This is on the top of my list - or at least the top of my list once I get through my current list! Probably in January, anyways. Glad to hear you liked it so much.


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