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Peter & Max, by Bill Willingham

Second paragraph of third chapter:
True to his father's instruction, on that fateful evening so many ages past, Peter had the flute named Frost with him. It sat in its small carrying case on the truck bench's seat beside him. This was a new case, of course, made of modern high-impact plastic and reinforced steel. The original leather case had worn away long ago, as had many successors since. But Frost remained unchanged by time. It looked as new today as when he first saw it, and probably the same as when fabled Jorg first carved it.
I read most of Bill Willingham's Fables series of graphic stories back in 2008-11 when they were getting Hugo nominations, but rather lost interest after the big battle between our heroes and their enemy was resolved in Volume 11 (of at least 19). This however is a spinoff prose novel, explaining the tortuous relationships between Peter Piper, Bo Peep and Peter's evil brother Max, coming to a gruesome climax in medieval Hamelin with echoes through to the present day, where fairy tale characters are living under cover in New York - am I right in thinking that there's a recent TV series with a similar premise?

It's gorgeously illustrated, clever and well-written, but not especially so, and while it's supposedly standalone with respect to the comics, I think they do crucially reinforce each other. So I can't recommend this to those who haven't tried (or don't want to try) the graphic stories it's rooted in.

This was my top unread book acquired in 2011. Next on that list is The Last Theorem, by Arthur C. Clarke and Frederik Pohl.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
londonkds
Jul. 10th, 2016 08:19 pm (UTC)
The TV series you're thinking of is Once Upon A Time, which does have a vaguely similar premise, but is very different in terms of its world building and especially characterisation. I've only seen the first two seasons, but I prefer them to Fables.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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