Posts Tagged ‘Peter & Max’


Peter & Max: A Fables Novel, Now an E-Book

January 26, 2011

Peter & Max: A Fables Novel by Bill Willingham was released in paperback in late December (incidentally, while it retails for $14.99, you can currently pick it up at Amazon for a cool $10.19). Likewise, the E-book is available for those that prefer reading on electronic devices and is currently available for $9.99.

More on the electronic release from Vertigo:

Based on FABLES, the New York Times bestselling, Hugo Award nominated, Eisner Award winning and one of the longest running comic book series published by Vertigo, PETER & MAX: A FABLES NOVEL tells the dark story of brothers Peter Piper, of Pickled Pepper fame, and Max Piper, the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Willingham deftly weaves an epic tale of good and evil, sibling rivalry, magic, music and a quest for revenge that spans from medieval times to the present day, from the heart of the Black Forest to NYC. Full of vivid detail, imagination and adventure, PETER & MAX illuminates the breadth of Willingham’s knowledge of literature and his true storytelling ability.

So get ready to download PETER & MAX: A FABLES NOVEL to your favorite device and take this magical story with you to lands near and far!

If you’d like to sample the book first, Vertigo has chapters one and two available to read online for free. This was a great novel, whether you are familiar with Fables or not (though all the better if you are) so get to it my friends!


Peter & Max: A Fables Novel TP

August 17, 2010

Peter & Max: A Fables Novel quickly became one of my favorite books in recent years (feel free to jump to my “Review” section for more) and now there’s a new TP version for anyone who hasn’t yet experienced it. Please do yourself a favor and check it out __ it’s all kinds of fun.



The critically acclaimed prose novel from FABLES creator Bill Willingham — now in trade paperback!

The tale takes place long ago, in the deepest dark of The Black Forest. Two brothers — Peter Piper and his older brother Max — encounter ominous forces that change them both irreparably. Thus begins an epic tale of sibling rivalry, magic, music and revenge that spans medieval times to the present day, when their deadly conflict surfaces in the placid calm of modern day Fabletown.

PETER & MAX: A FABLES NOVEL features the prose of award-winning comic book writer Bill Willingham and the lush ink drawings of FABLES artist Steve Leialoha. The novel also reveals secrets of some of the regular FABLES series cast members including Bigby Wolf, Frau Totenkinder and Bo Peep, along with an 8-page comics story by Willingham and Leialoha!

On sale DECEMBER 22 • 400 pg, B&W, $14.99 US MATURE READERS


Review: Peter & Max by Bill Willingham

July 5, 2010

Peter & Max by Bill Willingham

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Set in the imaginative realm of the award-winning comic book series FABLES, PETER and MAX is a stand-alone prose novel – the first ever published starring FABLES characters!

Long ago, in the deepest dark of The Black Forest, two brothers – Peter Piper and his older brother Max – encountered ominous forces that changed them both irreparably. Thus begins an epic tale of sibling rivalry, magic, music and revenge that spans medieval times to the present day, when their deadly conflict surfaces in the placid calm of modern day Fabletown.

What Drew Me to the Book:

Already a huge fan of Bill Willingham’s Fables series at DC Comics (Vertigo imprint) it didn’t take much to sell me on the idea of a prose novel set in the same fascinating Fables world in which Willingham would have hundreds of pages with which to bring these rich characters to life once more, and in an entirely new way.

The Review:

Who doesn’t like the idea of taking an established fairy-tale, and turning it on its head with a clever twist or two? Disney’s Enchanted rocketed to the tops of the box office when it was released several years ago based on such a premise and if the popularity of Bill Willingham’s Fables comic series is any indication there remains an even larger audience just waiting in the wings to eat this kind of thing up. My wife, for example, was intrigued as I explained the premise behind Fables to her a couple of weeks ago. She smiled at the possibilities that lay in store as clever twists are placed on old tales, and she surprised me one night as I arrived home from work with the news that she had devoured Fables Vol. 3: Storybook Love, which I had laid on my nightstand several nights earlier. She was full of all kinds of questions about the Fables and I’m hoping that the series will become something that we can enjoy together as she takes future steps into Fabletown. So, having finished Peter & Max several days ago I can now heartily recommend that she, and other potential fans, try Bill Willingham’s prose novel to that end.

From start to finish the novel cleverly builds on the familiar stories of Peter Piper (who once picked a peck of pickled peppers) and his brother Max, better known as the Pied Piper. The novel follows these two brothers throughout the course of their young lives and into the future as the choices, prejudices and tragedies of their youth threaten the lives of  their family and countless others as they grow into manhood and are forced to confront one another as opposing forces of good and evil. One of the more clever storytelling devices that Willingham employs in Peter & Max is that he alternates chapters between past and  present adventures, following each of the main characters as he does so that we see how past events are driving the modern conflict between the characters. This approach gives the reader that much more to chew on and that’s always a good thing when there’s so much meat to the story.

Seriously, this isn’t your grandfather’s storybook fairy-tale, not when our hero is former member of a thieves guild and expertly trained in the finer points of assassination (as is his wife) but who also has the gentile nature you’d expect from a boy who plays the flute, and is simply known as “Peter.” It’s finding out just how these twists work into the fairy-tale setting we think we know so well that always hooks the reader and helps to make these stories fun to experience, particularly when Willingham has all the room he needs to really open up the story and get at the heart of his characters. Because as fun as the surprises are, and as gripping as the narrative is throughout (I struggle to recall a single lull in the telling)  it’s the characters that you really serve to warm your heart (or in the case of a couple of them, freeze it) and who you’ll remember when you close the final page.

Peter & Max is one of those stories that you’ll read again and again. It’s full of the same magic you find in your favorite fairy-tales of old, but with an added measure of maturity and cleverness that you’ll appreciate as an adult.  And please, don’t be put off in the least by the fact that you may never have read his Fables comic series as it isn’t necessary to have enjoyed those to really get a hold of this one. Willingham gives the new reader everything he or she will need to begin creating his world in their minds, and if by chance you’re already a Fables fan, then you’ll have plenty of additional material to chew on in the newest adventure. There’s something for everyone here and I give Peter & Max my highest recommendation as a result! Here’s hoping that this is one of many Fables novels to come.

If Peter & Max sounds like something you’ll enjoy, you can preview the first two chapters while enjoying the lush illustrations of Fables artist Steve Leialoha here at DC’s Vertigo blog. Now, to print these off for my wife…


Bill Willingham’s Peter & Max: 7 Chapters In

June 28, 2010

Bill Willingham’s Peter & Max is turning out to be exactly what I needed this summer.

Seven chapters into the audio version — enthusiastically read by Wil Wheaton — I’m really starting to resent the fact that I’ve made it to my destination (thank you traffic?) and that I’ve got to turn the story off for the next several hours. Not all of my recent selections have been as compelling truth be told and this one is really coming off as a breath of fresh air. Not that I expected anything less given the caliber of the comic it’s born from and that I’ve enjoyed over the course of numerous volumes. Peter & Max is just as full of surprises as the Fables comic series from which it springs forth (you never know how things will quite turn out in Fables) and in at least a couple of ways the book may be even more impressive as Willingham has plenty of room to weave his exciting narrative and really flesh out the characters in the process.

Peter Piper, for example, is introduced early on as the stories stoic hero and we’re immediately impressed with the man he’s become given the care he provides his wife (won’t spoil who she is), the hospitality he extends to his neighbors and the willingness by which he assumes responsibility; but we also get to see that there’s a far more adventurous side to Peter (with professional training to boot?) as we are treated to flashbacks through alternating chapters of Peter’s youth, reveling in the people, places and events that later shape the man. I would reckon that one of the best scenes so far occurs when he’s about 10-years old, listening to a story his Dad must have told umpteen times, about a family ancestor and a very impressive battle. Well, apparently Peter just couldn’t contain himself  — knowing the story so well — and enthusiastically shouts out what comes next as his proud Dad pauses to allow him the moment. It was one of those scenes where the character’s heart is on full display and the result was a very memorable moment where I had to cheer for the little guy, and really hope the best for a tragic situation that was sure to come.

The story will be over before I know it, but assuming it remains anywhere near as compelling as it is now it’s going to be one of those books I have little choice but to read again (and perhaps again and again). Happily, I look forward to adding the hardcover to my shelf for just that purpose.

[In the speculative fiction audio queue: Bill Willingham’s Peter & Max, J.R.R. (& Christopher) Tolkien’s The Children of Húrin, Brandon Sanderson’s Warbreaker and I haven’t forgotten Terry Pratchett’s Guards! Guards!]