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SYFY WIRE Interviews

Spider-Man author Preeti Chhibber & her fave web-slinging moments

By Swapna Krishna
Spider-Man Peter Parker and Ned

A few months ago, we revealed the cover of Spider-Man: Far From Home: Peter and Ned’s Ultimate Travel Journal, a tie-in book to the upcoming movie that chronicles Peter and Ned's trip through Europe, written by our very own FANGRRL Preeti Chhibber. This is your official reminder that the book's release date is almost upon us: it will be out on June 4.

Now, if you know Chhibber at all, you know that she’s a die-hard fan of Peter Parker. She sat down with SYFY FANGRRLS to talk about her love for the character and what it felt like to be able to write him.

Sooooo... Peter. You’re writing Peter Parker. I mean. You’re officially writing him. Disney HIRED you to write Peter Parker. How does that feel?

I can tell you that my reaction to getting the initial email was, “WHAT? WHO EVEN AM I?” And that’s still sort of how I feel. But then, I remember that he’s one of my favorite characters, and I’ve spent a lot of time with the dude over the last few decades, so why not me? I identify pretty heavily with Peter and his terrible luck and heart of gold. I’d like to think that we're a perfect fit. The spider to his man. Wait. No. I’m not a spider. This got away from me.

In this book you write in the voices of Peter and Ned. How did you get in their heads to write it?

I watched Homecoming three times before I started writing, ha. It was interesting, though, because Peter in the MCU is different from Peter in the comics. And he’s different from Peter in the cartoons and video games. So, I had to really learn to separate all the different Spideys in my head. Ned was a little easier because Ned (played by Jacob Batalon) really only exists in the MCU.  

Let’s be real — is this, in fact, the book you were born to write?

I think it might have been! The combination of Spider-Man, wacky adventures, and children’s literature? That’s basically my dream book.

What is it about Peter Parker that makes you love him so much?

Probably what draws so many people to him, and what makes him one of the most popular characters of all time. Peter’s popularity lies in his relatability. Generally speaking, he’s usually barely scraping by. He makes a lot of terrible decisions without realizing it, he doesn’t prioritize the right things, or people, sometimes. He makes huge mistakes. People misunderstand him. His good work so often goes unrecognized. What person can’t identify with that? But despite the hardship and pain that the character has gone through, he’s still hopeful and determined. He’s both relatable and inspirational. I love that. And I love that he’s allowed to care. So many times, being a superhero means putting on this bravado of being too strong to feel things. Peter is allowed to have feelings, and have those feelings quite intensely. It’s a nice reminder that being strong doesn’t mean being stoic, or unfeeling. The character is fueled by hope, and love, and rage, and frustration. And we get to watch him process those feelings, both healthily and unhealthily. It’s so important, but maybe what I love about Peter Parker is that he’s flawed, but he still manages to do good.   

In all of Spider-Man history, what’s your favorite Peter Parker moment?

THIS IS SO HARD. OK wait, no it’s not. I have two. The first is this page, which I think is a microcosm of my favorite Peter-does-not-have-his-life-together:


The Many Loves of the Amazing Spider-Man #1, "The Root of All Annoyance": Written by Chris Yost, Pencils by Michael Ryan, Inks by Danny Miki, Colors by John Rauch, Letters by Jared K. Fletcher

The other is a more recent moment, the last issue of Chip Zdarsky’s excellent run on Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-Man, it’s a page where Peter is being interviewed for a documentary about Spider-Man, and in Zdarsky distills exactly what makes Peter Parker Spider-Man (better than my own answer above, jeez!):


Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-Man #310, “Finale” Written and drawn by Chip Zdarsky, Lettered by VC’s Travis Lanham

Here's a little about Chhibber's book from Disney, available June 4.

Peter Parker’s off to Europe with his classmates from school! How does Spider-Man stay one step ahead of the bad guys while on the road, while keeping his identity a secret? You can find that out—and a whole lot more—in this book filled with epic writings from Peter and his best friend Ned. With the help of MJ, Peter and Ned have jotted down all the exciting things they saw while traveling through Europe: favorite foods, photo ops, Spidey-secrets, and more. This ultimate travel journal has it all!