Exclusive Preview: David Petersen illustrates The Wind in the Willows

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One thing almost all comics enthusiasts can agree on is that David Petersen’s Mouse Guard is a marvelously illustrated book, and Petersen’s designs for his animal creatures are tender and fierce at the same time. Well now Petersen is bringing his unique sensibilities to another anthropomorphic classic with a lavishly illustrated edition of Kenneth Graham’s classic The Wind and the Willows.

The new edition, designed by Petersen, comes out this October from IDW at a price of $24.99. Each copy of the first edition will be signed by Petersen.

Petersen spent three years working on the art for this, and as you can see, its gorgeous.

The Wind in the Willows has long been a favorite of mine. I love talking animal stories and I don’t know that they get better than Kenneth Grahame’s,” says Petersen. “This is also a bucket list project for me, something I had to illustrate before I passed on. It’s been tremendously difficult to illustrate as I’m trying to live up to the spirit of the original text while living in the shadows of illustrators like E. H. Shepard, Arthur Rackham, Inga Moore, and Robert Ingpen (among many others) who have visualized this tale in ways impossible not to be influenced by. The challenge of doing this story right has lead me to push my work further than I ever have, and I think my artwork will be forever changed by it for the better.”

The Wind and the Willows is a beloved children’s classic (except for that Pipers at the Gates of Dawn chapter that has confounded tykes and inspired Robert Plant for years.) This is truly a marriage of styles however, and Rat, Mole, Badger and irrepressible Mr. Toad have never looked better.

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