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The Bear Hardcover – November 30, 2012

79 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The bright watercolors and adorable almost-poems that fill "The Bear," represent a new dad's heartwarming reflections on the nurturing relationship between father and child -- and how it can work both ways. --Huffington Post

About the Author

Ryan Sohmer is the award winning author of "Least I Could Do", "Looking For Group" as well as "Gutters". When not working on his many comic properties, Sohmer can be found building Legos and practicing his crossbow skills. Sohmer lives in Montreal, Canada with his loving wife and awesome son.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Blind Ferret Entertainment (November 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1926838203
  • ISBN-13: 978-1926838205
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #774,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

At just 35 years of age, Ryan Sohmer has amassed a body of comics writing work that rivals those twice his age.

In 2003, Sohmer created Least I Could Do, a newspaper-style strip that is published online daily at www.licd.com . The strip follows Rayne Summers, a not-so average narcissistic 20-something who is living a life that is best described as "consequence free." Joining Rayne are his best friends, Noel, John, Mick, and Issa. Over the years, the cast has ballooned to include over 30 different characters, each one playing an intricate role in the life of Rayne Summers.

In the midst of all this, Sohmer worked as freelance writer and columnist. His "According To Me" column was published in over 100 newspapers in Canada and the United States.

Least I Could Do has enjoyed immense popularity, regularly seeing over 30 Million page views a month. Nine volumes of Least I Could Do strips have been published.

Sohmer also created and writes the incredibly popular comic Looking For Group. A fantasy-comedy, Looking For Group centers around a group of warriors including the heroic Cale, and the wildly popular Richard The Undead Warlock. Looking For Group is published twice a week at www.lfgcomic.com and has been released in six hardcover collections. Looking For Group enjoys a readership of well over a million people, both online and in print.

In 2008 Sohmer and deSouza won a Shuster Award for their work on both Looking For Group and Least I Could Do.

Combining the Least I Could Do books, the Looking For Group hardcover and single issues, over 30,000 books have been sold directly to fans, as well as through Diamond, which signed a deal with Blind Ferret Entertainment, the parent company of Sohmer's creative endeavours.

In 2008 Sohmer and deSouza brought Least I Could Do to a 7-day publishing schedule with the debut of LICD: Beginnings, a Sunday-style comic focusing on the childhood adventures of Rayne Summers. Even with this hectic schedule, Least I Could Do and Looking For Group are published on time and regularly, a distinction that most web-based comics do not enjoy.

Into this mix Sohmer has now added Gutters (a parody of the comic book industry, The Bear and its sequel (a picture book for children and parent's alike), and Kapshen (a satirical view of the current political landscape).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Rose on November 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Funny, tender, and so very true...the artwork in this book is amazing, and the author's quasi-poetic observations are witty and often very touching. Anyone with a new baby definitely would enjoy this book! It takes a light-hearted look at parenting without being overly sentimental or saccharine.
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16 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Ruben on November 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Okay, first of all, I love this book. I fell in love with it when I saw the very first draft on Ryan's page [...], long before he launched the kickstarter campaign. I revelled in every piece of artwork he published, I craved for the day when the book would ship and reach me. Now I have it, and I still believe this is a - if not the - most marvelous book on the topic "How parents look at their children" that I have ever seen. Heartwarming, charming, simply wonderful.

And yet.

I heavy-heartedly chose to deduct two points here, one each for two items that - while they do not spoil the five star rating for me - might do so for others.

Point one: The book "fits" a dad-to-son-relation more than it does for moms or girls (this is true for only some four or so drawings, but still). This makes sense, as Ryan wanted to create something for his firstborn child, who is a boy. I am dad of a girl, and I don't mind; my wife, however, noticed. She probably was looking for something mother-girl-specific? I don't know. In any case, while I would not think twice (except for reason number two, below) to give this book as a present to first-time parents (or rather: the first time dad) of a boy, I might do so for first-time parents (or rather: the mother) of a girl.

Point two: there is one singular comic in the book that I'd rather not have had in there. This has also been indicated by some other reviewers, but so far noone pointed out the details, and I think it is important. The text of one of the drawings reads "I've Heard it Said, that even Hitler was a Baby; Mabye. But He Was Never This Cute." I am German, and I have to admit that when I had read this on page 13, I re-read it quite a few times, trying to get it. I didn't. I still haven't.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Gsellman on November 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I love The Bear. The second I heard about the concept (ie:read about it on Sohmer and Lar's webcomic page) I joined the kickstarter project. Originally I just bought the one thinking, I love it. It has gorgeous art, and true (often hilarious) words.
Then I thought, what do you get the father who has everything?
Often the problem in my household. My dad seems to never need for anything and only jokes about things that he wants that the entire family combined could not afford for their entire lifetimes.
This book is insightful, fun, and honestly refreshing. I would often turn a page and think, that's my dad, or that's my brother ect...
The artwork is magnificient. It's not fussy, but beautifully detailed. Soft and sort of in your face at the same time.
I recommend to anyone who has a difficult to shop for father who has a sense of humor and an appretiation for art.
My father loved it. I felt so very accomplished!
The one, and I mean ONLY thing that I don't like about the book is the framing issue. During the kickstarter we saw some of the art, and it was always with a white border around the edges. It gave the art a bit of a raw, unframed finish that appealed to me.
The book itself has no borders. So every once in a while it seemed like maybe some of the art was short. I would have loved even a very thin white line around the edges.
But even with that, I love the book and as it says on the title, I recomment it for that hard to shop for dad. ^_^
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul Chabot on November 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is gorgeous. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful to the point I investigated if the book could win either a Caldecott or a Governor General's award. The artwork is simply that great in my humble opinion.

The captions to each page are almost all touching in some way or another. Some hit your funny bone, some hit the sensitives parts of your heart, and some warm your spirit. It's not what you'd expect after reading some of Sohmer's comics, but it's nevertheless, if not all the more an incredible work that he put together.

This book is all around phenomenal. Even though I don't necessarily agree with all the parenting elements of the book, it's still funny and endearing to me. It is clearly written from the bottom of Sohmer's heart, allowing it fill you with warmth regardless of what you believe.

I hope I will ALWAYS have this book to read and look at with my kids as a beautiful reminder to cherish and love them for all that they are.

5 stars without a moment of hesitation.

--Edit--
I gave a copy to my friends who have a 3 month old boy and they LOVED it. The father read it almost 3 times before I left a few minutes later. His wife loved it too and was a bit jealous that she hardly ever gets such an enthusiastic reaction out of her husband when giving him gifts (and she gives GOOD gifts). The book was relevant and heart-warming, and they could hardly get over it.

The book truly is that good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cassandra on November 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is Ryan Sohmer's first attempt at a children's book, but I hope to see many more. I can see how for some people the dry humour, or slight edginess or fringe humour might be odd to them, but for a lot of people it's a riot. This seems like more of an homage to the parent (father) than the child, which I think is significant and what makes it a great gift for parents.

I got this by contributing to the Kickstarter, and I just got my two books today. They're beautiful to touch and hold, and easy to read from any angle. I laughed a lot and teared up at the massive truths that I think every parent thinks about (even the ones people question). I feel like this is a book where someone says things that everyone is thinking, or thinks sometimes, but no one wants to say out-loud because it's not "done". While I support proper behaviour at so many times, I feel like reading is the one time where frivolity is allowed.

The images are beautiful, I've always been a huge fan of Becky Dreistadt, whose unique take brings an edge of modernism to a kitschy whimsical style we all remember. She is a massively talented artist, and I don't think anyone could have done it better (but I still love you Lar). Absolutely recommend a buy for this, I regret only getting two to start!
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