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

Hyperbole and a Half
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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
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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.

“Penny Arcade Volume 8: Magical Kids in Danger” by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik (Oni Press, 2012)

Penny Arcade 8
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The dynamic duo that is Penny Arcade are back once again with the next collection of their both brilliant and hilarious web comic. Magical Kids in Danger collects all the strips from 2007, featuring an introduction by Cliff Bleszinski, Design Director at Epic Games, as well as Mike Krahulik’s development artwork for the cover.

As in previous volumes, writer Jerry Holkins adds commentary, thoughts and opinions to each strip, trying to work out the concept behind it, or what the thinking was, or in some cases is brutally honest and says he has no clue what they were planning at the time. Readers get to see some of the big happenings in the video gaming world through the lens of Penny Arcade, such as the sacred arrival of the Playstation 3, and more intelligent ridiculing of game companies who profess to know what video gamers are thinking and actually want. Some beloved characters of the comic strip also make their appearances, so readers will not be disappointed with this new volume that, after being read, needs to go on the shelf right next to volumes one through seven.

Originally written on December 4, 2012 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Penny Arcade 8: Magical Kids in Danger from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

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Be Good Little Puppy  The Halls Below  The Splendid Magic of Penny Arcade