Comic Collection Review: Cookies for my Inner Demons by Frank Page

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Cookies for my Inner Demons is the collection of Bob the Squirrel comics from 2009.  This is actually the first Bob the squirrel book that I read and the first time I was introduced to Frank Page’s comic genius.  You can read his strip here: http://www.bobthesquirrel.com/

Bob the squirrel is a slice of life comic which loosely follows the real life of Frank Page.  He pulls the little adventures of life out and turns them into comics starring his alter ego, Bob, the main character of the strip.

Frank page is kind of the ideal for web comic artists.  He has been plugging away working on his strip for well over a decade, he has over a dozen collections of his work available, and he has truly made the medium his own.

This collection follows Frank’s life as he assimilates to moving in with his girlfriend as well as her daughter and their pets, this makes for a great storyline between the adjustments made in his personal life as well as how Bob reacts to living with an assortment of other animals.

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Bob the Squirrel is part gag a day comic and part autobiography, it deals with subjects that other comics don’t.  You could compare it to “For Better or For Worse”, or “Funky Winkerbean” but you would be doing it a disservice.  Bob the Squirrel a much more than those strips and really shows the possibilities of web comics that aren’t constrained by the normal restrictions placed on newspaper comics.  In this strip, Frank can do and does do anything he wants and with the daily addition of “Squirrelosophy” we can see Bob in a new context removed from his daily strip, Frank literally has redefined the comic medium with his character and I can’t wait to see what he will be doing next.

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You can get Frank’s books from Lulu press, not just Bob the Squirrel, but also some of his graphic novels which we will be reviewing at a later date here: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/bobthesquirrel

This is one of the premier web comic creators and one of the best comics on the web.  Frank Page is doing to web comics what Will Eisner did for comic books, he is challenging the medium and reinventing it as he goes along.  Check out his work and join the legions of fans who already know about the hardest working man in comics.   Until next time True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.

Comic Collection Review: The Complete Far Side by Gary Larson

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I’m sure everyone is familiar with the single paneled classic comic The Far Side.  I include it here because they finally released a complete version of the series in a three volume set.  This has been out for years in a deluxe leather bound set as well as a hardback set both retailing for hundreds of dollars, but now it is available in a paperback set which flirts with affordable at $60 on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Far-Side-Gary-Larson/dp/1449460046/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1457116058&sr=8-1&keywords=complete+far+side

This strip ran for 15 years during the great resurgence of the newspaper comic in the 80’s and 90’s.  There were a lot of great comics being written and introduced during this time and The Far Side was one of the best.  It would sit down on the bottom of the page of the Washington Post comic strip page and offer something completely different in terms of humor.  Many of the comic strips of that period followed the standard three or four panel format, but Garry Larson did something completely different.  He used just one panel and offered up a sort of surreal concept which puzzled most readers who encountered it.

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There were no recurring characters or streamlined art.  There was no real merchandizing concept like with Garfield or most of the other brand name strips.  It jumped around from topic to topic and offered nothing more than a surreal glimpse into the mind of Gary Larson’s humor.  It was almost a stream of consciousness type of strip in that it seemed to flow from his creative mind uninhibited by context or standard plot lines.

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Some were hilariously funny, while others bordered on the strange and bizarre.  Even looking through this ultimate set, there are still some that pass over my head and I wonder at the concept he is trying to portray.  Larson took a lot of chances with his strip, he tried things that I don’t think any other comic artist would have even attempted.  His comic was so direct in it’s one panel format that there was no room for alliterations or subtlety it was all spelled out in a single glance.

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Many of this comics were designed more to let the reader fill in the punch line.  Larson would lead you in the direction he wanted and then let you take over forming the other panels in you mind and taking the comic’s ultimate punch line in any direction you wanted to go.  It is a unique comic and despite many people attempting to copy his style over the years, no one has really accomplished what Larson made look so easy.

This volume is a must have for any serious collector of comics and now with the paperback version, it is finally affordable to everyone.  You may love it enough to buy the more expensive deluxe versions of the book, but this collection is perfect for the Official Root Beer Party comic library and fills in a much needed gap replacing The incomplete Far Side Galleries collections that were there before.

I highly recommend this collection to anyone who wants to see one of the great comics of our time in a complete set.  So until next time True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.

Comic Collection Review: The Awkward Yeti, Heart and Mind by Nick Seluk

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I found this collection a few days ago on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/1449470890/?tag=mh0b-20&hvadid=7041476032&hvqmt=b&hvbmt=bb&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_800noti26s_b after I had been following the comic online for the past few years.  This collection takes a humorous web comic and makes it a thousand times better.  By seeing the strip in a single volume you begin to experience the comic for its true meaning and humor.

It is quite simply a philosophical battle between the heart and mind of a Yeti lost in the world and having to choose between the logic of reasoning and the passion of following his heart.  The interplay between the two is a familiar struggle that we all face on a daily basis as we travel along in life.

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I read the comic once in a while on Twitter and Facebook and it was always funny, but I quickly glanced over it and moved on, this collection allows you to stop and appreciate the strip in a single volume.

It really is an amazing comic.  I highly recommend this volume as it will make you fall in love with the awkward Yeti as he tries to settle the age old debate between heart and mind.  One can’t exist without the other, but unlike the Yin and Yang they are not necessarily in opposition.  They are two parts of the same thing and they both lend meaning to the other.  It is a brilliant premise and a hilarious comic.

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This is one you will be happy to add to your personal library, as it will be used often and shared with friends and family.  Until next time True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.