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I wasn't able to see the original run of the Pokemon comic strip (Stoopid Shreveport Times), but thankfully, they gathered the entire run into this book. As a semi-professional cartoonist, I can say this was a pretty good strip. Not in the ranks with Calvin and Hobbes and Peanuts, mind you, but it's still a lot better than a lot of the comic strips in the newspaper today. As for the strip itself, if you're expecting a strip version of the hit TV show, you'll be mistaken. It's kind of an alternate version of Pokemon. Instead of going out earning badges and getting into tussles with Team Rocket, Ash, Brock, Misty and Gary all go to junior high school, along with their Pokemon, which almost always cause mischeif. Ash's mom has a much bigger role in the comic since Ash is home now, and she's usually shown going slowly crazy from all of Ash's Pokemon wrecking her house. The art is kind of sketchy in places, as you get the sense some of the strips were rushed, but most of the time the art is pretty consistant and has it's own style from the cartoon and comic books and gives it an "American" sense of design. Sometimes the strip doesn't make sense. In the beginning, Ash has a Metapod, then it evolves into a Butterfree, but later on, a few months later, he comes across another Metapod and catches it, claiming he's never seen one before. But the comic improves as it goes along, and it's a shame it ended when it did, since it was getting a lot better. Ash and Misty's exploits in the comic are pretty funny, especially the running gag where Misty attacks Ash with Starmie, but even funnier are when the Pokemon are by themselves and we can read their thoughts. Who knew Psyduck had such a deep train of thought? Overall, this was a pretty good comic, and it was too bad it barely lasted a year. Pokemon fans, especially older ones, owe it to themselves to check out "Pikachu Meets The Press" if they haven't already.
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