“Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened” by Allie Brosh (Touchstone, 2013)

Hyperbole and a Half

In case you haven’t noticed, short comic strips have slowly been becoming the rage and “the” popular thing to read online over the last few years. One can simply tell by thinking of all the comic strips they read online, how many of them have been turned into books? And the reason for this is that they’re good comics that can provide something to those who don’t necessarily read them online.

Hyperbole and a Half is one of those comic strips that goes beyond many others in not just being entertaining, but also informative, interesting, educational, and harshly personal from Allie Brosh. With a hugely popular blog of the same name, it seems only logical to have a number of her posts and strips converted into a print edition; the collection also features a couple of posts and strips not seen on her blog.

The key here is that Brosh is imparting some personal stories from her life, told through hilarious comic stick figures, but at the same time helping her get the message across of why she felt this way, what going through depression was like, and how she coped with it. It is a strange memoir of sorts that uses humor to alleviate its seriousness, and the beauty of it is that while the reader is laughing along, enjoying both the writing and the script, they are also understanding and learning about Brosh’s coping mechanism and ways of dealing with what she has gone through. To call it both amusing and funny is a gross understatement to both these words. Read Hyperbole and a Half, and you shall discover why.

Originally written on April 16, 2014 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Hyperbole and a Half from Bookshop Santa Cruz, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

“Snoopy: Cowabunga” by Charles M. Schulz (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2013)

Snoopy Cowabunga

Snoopy is a timeless comic strip by the late and great Charles Schulz that has entertained many children and adults for decades, in fact many of those children who became adults continued to read the comic strip series, and continue to do so to this day with its reprints in the Sunday editions of newspapers.

Snoopy: Cowabunga is a great sample collection of why this is such a timeless and entertaining comic strip, featuring in addition to Snoopy and Woodchuck, well known characters like Charlie Brown, Lucy and Linus. This volume features the series of Snoopy as a beagle scout who soon gets lost in the woods and needs to get rescued, as well as addressing his questionable abilities at tennis, his participation in the Daisy Hill Puppy Cup, and many strips on Snoopy’s talent as a writer with his goal to get published.

Whether you’re a Snoopy-reading veteran, or you’re trying the comic strip for the first time with this volume, it will delight you with the highs and lows, bringing a laugh at every page, as well as imparting some useful life lessons.

Originally written on November 5, 2013 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Snoopy: Cowabunga from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

“Treasury of the Lost Litter Box” by Darby Conley (Abrams, 2010)

Treasury of the Lost Litter Boxstarstarstarstar

It’s been a couple of years since the last Get Fuzzy treasury collection, bringing together a complete roundup of this great comic strip, and now fans can rejoice with Treasury of the Lost Litter Box. Whether you’re a Get Fuzzy veteran and looking to increase your collection (like me), or discovering this entertaining comic strip for the first time, Treasury of the Lost Litter Box is a worthy book, sucking you in right from the start and letting you delve into the lives of these unusual characters.  There’s Rob, the owner and master of this humble abode who is a nerd to extreme measures seeming to enjoy his bachelor life – though I’m sure he’d welcome someone of the female persuasion – and believes himself to be in control of his pets.  He is not.  There is Satchel, an overweight dog with serious self-esteem issues.  And then there’s Bucky, a unique cat with delusions of grandeur, egomania, and world domination.  In this collection we get to meet some other great characters, like Shakespug, a pug that can only quote the bard; and Mac Manc McManx, Bucky’s cousin from Manchester England.  This is a collection you won’t soon forget.

If you liked this review and are interested in purchasing this book, click here.

Originally written on June 28 2010 ©Alex C. Telander.

Originally published in the Sacramento Book Review.