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The Trial of Colonel Sweeto and Other Stories (The Perry Bible Fellowship) Hardcover – November 6, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse; 1St Edition edition (November 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593078447
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593078447
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 8.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #393,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Even the most benevolent impulse is sure to lead to a planet in ruins in this debut collection of Gurewitch's popular Web comic, The Perry Bible Fellowship. The dark, surreal humor is often compared to The Far Side but has an even more brutal and fatalistic sense of humor. Lavishly colored, the art switches among detailed depictions of comedy staples like sloths and dinosaurs to an empty-faced cast of doomed stick figure dreamers. Gurewitch's true strength is in expertly using the four-panel comic strip structure to suggest entire storylines and their bleak payoffs. In one, a man and woman stand in a field full of dead bodies, and the woman reacts angrily when she discovers the secret revealed in the final panel: the touching message Will you marry me? written on a hillside with the bodies. Similar themes of pop culture tropes played out to the point of disaster abound: aliens decide to kill the Earth instead of a planet of cute puppies, heaven is found to be not so cool when God forbids billiards, and so on. But as usual, attempting to analyze the humor defeats the purpose—Gurewitch's strips are destined to be refrigerator door classics in the very near future.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Sweetness and light turn dark and grisly in this award-winning cult fave web strip having nothing to do with the Bible. The cover suggests a children's book: candy colors and candy people—who happen to be burning one of their number at the stake. The strips differ in art styles: some realistic, some cartoony; others evoking R. Crumb, Raggedy Ann, Chinese prints, Mother Goose, Bil Keane, Gundam manga, or Edward Gorey. Endings tend to the nastily downbeat. "Dad? There's someone at the door to see you," announces a smiling youngster to his head-in-a-book father. Enter an immense and very cool robot, basketball under an arm and cap on backwards. "You're under arrest for not being fun!" it sings out. Dad merely looks—and power rays zzzap from his eyes and blow the intruder to bits as the kid starts to cry. Or violently downbeat. "I love you," exclaims the Sun. "I love you, too!" says Earth. "Oh, kiss me." Trees, baby carriage, and people go up in flames. Quite a few gags relate to sex. Two guys ogle a horselike rear end. "Man, I'd like to get with that fine booty," says one. "That's disgusting," says the other. "She looks like she's 13"—and all three are revealed as centaurs. For sophisticated adult collections.—M.C.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

A great coffee table book.
J. Levy
I'd read a lot of these comics on The Perry Bible Fellowship website, but my goodness, it is just so good having them all printed in a lush, glossy-paged book.
A. Hege
PBF is unlike any other comic out there and I'm really happy it has finally been collected into a book!
Peter J. Ward

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Peter J. Ward VINE VOICE on November 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
PBF is unlike any other comic out there and I'm really happy it has finally been collected into a book! The art swings between beautifully-polished and incredibly simplistic. The ocassional homage to another style (the Edward Gorey-inspired "The Throbblefoot Aquarium" is one of my favorites) is also refreshing and impressive. The art really compliments the odd but brilliant jokes imbedded in each comic. Some are obvious. Others take a while to sink in - I'm not proud of the fact that it took me over a week to "get" one PBF comic. Five stars for wit, writing, and art. PBF is currently delivering what Gary Larson's "The Far Side" brought to the late 80's, just not for as wide an audience.

As noted by others - NOT for children, unless your kids are just that much cooler than their peers.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Robert Stoffel on November 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let me say first off that Nicholas Gurewitch is an amazing writer and artist, and his work is spectacular. Some previously black & white strips were colored for this book, and they look great.

My only problem with this book is that there really aren't a lot of extras. There are a couple pages of "lost comics" and that's it. I was hoping for some commentary, some extra comics exclusive to the book. At the end of the book I was a little underwhelmed.

But don't be put off from buying this book. It's still an excellent piece of work.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By IbeforeJ on November 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love intelligent humor- it probably doesn't hurt that my husband is a comedian and this style of humor is right up his alley. It also doesn't hurt that this book is full of 3-4 panel strips that will have you laughing out loud. An added plus is that the art-style constantly changes throughout the book. Some strips are very line-heavy, with great attention to detail, while others could have been drawn by a 6 year old.

And, it's very funny. And only for adults. No kids. Seriously. =)
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Katlanta on November 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's so nice to be able to hold these beautifully drawn cartoons in your hands; to have these lavishly illustrated beauties finally printed on quality paper. I stumbled on PBF from the XKCD Web site, and haven't been the same since. Though I have read most of these cartoons online, they still had me laughing out loud. And as dark and twisted as these cartoons are, some of the artwork is really wonderful. I love that the author uses so many cartooning styles -- they set moods, create contexts, and make the strips even funnier. While some of them can be racy or downright sick at times, they often poigniantly touch on vulnerabilities universal to the human experience.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By E. Byers VINE VOICE on December 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I follow PBF pretty closely on the web, but apparently not closely enough to realize there was a book of comics coming out. A coworker a few years ago turned me on to PBF and I've grown to love the off-the-wall, demented, widely varied comics. It's probably mostly the demenetedness.

As one poster pointed out, this is just a collection of strips, with a few unreleased strips at the end of the book. It isn't a story (like it at first might appear) with one of the featured PBF characters. That said, if you know what you're getting, this is worth it. Put it on your coffee table, and watch your friends faces as they partake of the demented deliciousness.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kira on November 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Gurewitch perhaps is representative of the future of the comic strip. His comics are aware of their form and their place in the history of the strip, but reject the simplification seen in a lot of newspaper comics (simplified for time constraints and to appear bold and graphic despite the cheap printing process). The book is amazing even just for how unbelievably meticulously wrought every single work is, but even more amazing for how painfully funny it is. His dark humor often makes you feel like a participant in some horrific crime. This book will surely be a comic classic.. even the quality of the binding and cover are made with a nostalgic, '80s or '90s cheap board game feel.

The comics are mixed chronologically in a way that makes for a dynamic visual presentation, but that sometimes gives the feeling that this is the only PBF book that will ever be made. This book is really not a "comprehensive" PBF, because Gurewitch is still making comics that are even more impressive than some of the ones included in this book. I wish this book had more in it (text, comics), but I am really satisfied with it as a whole. It belongs in the library of every lover of comics.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeff H. Lewis on November 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Simply put - one of the most well drawn, witty, and hilarious short comic strips available online (and for those lucky enough, in print too). This comic really carries on the legacy of the Far Side and honestly does it one better. Buy it and you won't be disappointed!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By tvtv3 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Before flipping through THE TRIAL OF COLONEL SWEETO, I had never heard of the Perry Bible Fellowship before. The Perry Bible Fellowship is not a bible study, youth meeting, or prayer study. In fact, the Bible has nothing to do with the Perry Bible Fellowship. Instead, the Perry Bible Fellowship is a series of comic strips that appear on-line and in a small number of regular publications. The comics are mostly in color and appear in one to five panes. Unlike typical comic strips, there is no ongoing storylines, very few reoccurring characters, and the style of the comics changes from one strip to another. Also, the strips have no message to deliver.

The Perry Bible Fellowship is all about humor and getting one to laugh. One might think from just looking at the illustrations and the cover of THE TRIAL OF COLONEL SWEETO that the book is a colorful comic book that will appeal to the visual imagination of children. Like everything else about the Perry Bible Fellowship, the visual playfulness is deceiving. THE TRIAL OF COLONEL SWEETO is very funny, but it is NOT for children. The comics in the book are brilliant, offbeat, quirky, disturbed, sometimes bizarre, and often twisted. Despite my better nature, I found myself laughing at most of them; they're like the dead baby jokes that teenagers seem to find so funny. For instance, in "Astronaut Fall" an astronaut falls and burns up in the atmosphere. In the last two panes two children are playing on a cold day and look up to the sky and see and taste "the first snowflake of the season." It takes a moment for the joke to settle in. I laughed at loud because I found the humor so painful. Almost all of the strips included in the book are like that. Some of the jokes are obvious, but most take a moment to understand.
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