“Penny Arcade Volume 9: Passion’s Howl” by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik (Oni Press, 2013)

Passion's Howl
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The dynamic duo Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, aka Gabe and Tycho, aka Penny Arcade are back! In volume 9, Passion’s Howl, they collect all their strips from 2008, plus lots of extra goodies, and of course, Jerry’s frothy, wet commentary to each strip that just adds to the experience.

In 2008, Penny Arcade was firmly established as the gurus of video game critique and commentary. In this collection it also becomes apparent that they don’t just need to be talking about video games to be funny, but their humor works on many levels and subjects, whether it is ordinary everyday things, or the fact that these men are adults now with families and responsibilities. Penny Arcade also has the knack to comment on cutting edge Internet developments, such as the strip “Le Twittre” from April 23 about Twitter and why anyone would ever want to have a Twitter account. Now, five years later, Gabe still doesn’t have one and stands by his decision.

The comic also gets meta at some points, as the pair happily make fun of themselves and their world with “Operation Myriad” on October 31, with a host of new video game releases and a new expansion to World of Warcraft, forcing them to create an elaborate schedule to get all these new games played. Or the fact that ping pong is an important game in their lives and at their work with the rest of their staff, competing with rival staffs from other companies, and in the artistic and hilarious “Paint the Line” series, they were able to address this.

Fans will have to add this latest volume to their collection, and if you pick this up, wanting to try Penny Arcade for the first time, you will be quickly swept away on a great and long journey that is still continuing to this day.

Originally written on June 11, 2013 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Penny Arcade Volume 9: Passion’s Howl from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

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“Penny Arcade Volume 7: Be Good, Little Puppy” by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik (Del Rey, 2011)

Be Good Little Puppy
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Do not be deceived by this cutesy cover of Tycho and Gabe having fun with a puppy and butterflies, for within these pages lies tales of damnation and lust; whatever you do, don’t let a child get ahold of this book . . . and for those who are already familiar with the unforgettable and endlessly entertaining comic know as Penny Arcade, then this cover works as an excellent camouflage for the sordid-laughter-inducing artwork within its pages . . .

Be Good, Little Puppy is the seventh volume from Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, bringing together a collection of all the Penny Arcade strips from 2006.  Fans gets to enjoy returns from familiar characters like Cardboard Tube Samurai, the enigmatic Twisp and Catsby, and occasional visits from various appliances, including a certain “fruit-loving” machine, who arrives to save the day!  Readers also get to see Tycho’s talent as a writer in his incredible Elemenstor Saga, ripped off and ridiculed by one L. H. Franzibald in Song of the Sorcelator.  The question is how far will Tycho go to end this plagiarism and the answer of course is all the way . . . only Gabe happens to be a Franzibald fan!  Gabe and Tycho also have much to say about what Microsoft is doing with its Xbox, as well as addressing this new Playstation, and the new unfortunately named console, Nintendo Wii.  And then there’s the incredible nine-part epic, “Armadeaddon,” involving everyone’s favorite: zombies.

Add this to your collection; it’s simply required.  Plus you get cool extras, like an entertaining (and seemingly obtuse) introduction from bestselling author Patrick Rothfuss.  Plenty of commentary from Jerry Holkins on each strip, and at the end you’ll find some moving excerpts from Song of the Sorcelator, as well as some important character and stat info on Wichaloks!

Originally written on October 13, 2011 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Penny Arcade: Be Good, Little Puppy from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.