Max Hamm
Created by Frank Cammuso

"..there's another side to this two-bit town. The one nobody talks about. The one where for every happy ending there's fifty miserable ones. In Storybookland, dreams die hard."
--
Max gives us the lowdown on Storybookland in The Big Sheep

His name's MAX HAMM, and he's a pig.

No, really,

As in The Three Little Pigs.

You see, Max is a private eye in Storybookland. His partner in the Hamm and Eggs Detective Agency is Humpty Dumpty, and their client in their first appearance, The Big Sheep, is none other than Little Bo Peep, who wants them to find her sheep, whom have been kidnapped. But things go horribly wrong, and Humpty has a nasty accident that all the King's horses and all the King's men wouldn't be able to set right. As Max wryly observes, for that "they were gonna need a spatula."

Still, when a pig's partner is killed...

Yep, Max is a Fairy Tale Detective, and it's a delightful take-off on old crime films, detective fiction and children's nursey tales and fairy tales, all done up in a series of picture-perfect mock storybooks, just like the Little Golden Books I read as a kid, right down to the gold spines and the painted interior art style, rendered for the sake of economy (or to evoke old film noirs) in "glorious black and white."

In Max's Storybookland, The Grimm Brothers and Mother Goose slug it out for control of organized crime, Little Boy Blue is a jazz musician and snitch, the Little Old Lady's shoe is a fleabag hotel and even Little Bo Peep's past features a "youthful discretion" that could ruin her career. It's reminiscent at times of Bruce Hale's Chet Gecko, but these tricks definitely ain't for kids. Not that this is X-rated or anything,, but it's aimed at bigger kids; a witty, affectionate and masterful send-up that readers of this site should go for in a big way. It's simply one of the cleverest parodies of private eyes I've ever read.

Frank Cammuso is the award-winning editorial cartoonist for the Syracuse Post-Standard. His work has appeared in Newsweek, USA Today and The New York Times.

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Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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