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The Perry Bible Fellowship Almanack Hardcover – March 24, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. For more than 20 years, various cartoonists have jostled for the title of spiritual heir to Gary Larson, the famously weird creator of the groundbreaking strip The Far Side. Web cartoonist Gurewitch is a solid contender for the title. His preferred subject matter certainly tracks Larson: murderous mimes, vengeful T. Rexes and adulterous rolls of coins all make appearances. Gurewitch also enjoys subverting a number of hackneyed cartoon tropes, including cuckolded husbands, mischievous voyeurs and confused Grim Reapers. But it is his exquisite sense of timing that sets him apart as a budding comic genius. Gurewitch has mastered the soaker, the joke that stays with the reader for several minutes before finally sinking in, making it all the funnier as a result. As hard as the soaker is to pull off consistently, Gurewitch's timing and supreme confidence in refusing to telegraph punch lines, allows him to hit the mark almost every time. It's particularly instructive to read the appendix Lost Strips to see the still funny but broader strips that did not make the cut. He alternates between a number of art styles—all gorgeous; his selection is always in service to the joke. Subtle, sly and deeply, deeply weird, The Perry Bible Fellowship is one of the best comics out there. (Apr.)
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I find myself pulling this off the shelf for another read-through every few weeks, and it still has the same punch as the first time. The strip with the zookeeper's wife is an all-time favorite (I'm thinking about it right now...BWAH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!). Too bad the PBF run wasn't longer, but it definitely finished on a high note.
In short, BUY THIS BOOK!
There are a lot of comics in this collection that were pulled from or never featured on the website. This fact alone makes this the definitive PBF collection, and it will remain so unless the site emerges from its extended inactivity. I will say that I found the unpublished (or flat-out rejected) comics to be hilarious, even if they were awful jokes, because they give quite a bit of insight into the creative process behind formulating such diabolical cartoons. There's also a great Q&A in the back. Highly recommended for fans.
Each page has 2 comics on it. And at the end of the book are some never released comics that the artist just was not happy with. They are interesting, but I am sure I saw one of them on the internet before.
Over all, it's a great book just to leave on a coffee table for people to find and look at.
The only complaint I have is that it does not have every comic in it. As most web comics go, more stuff came out after the book was made. But the artist hardly ever updates the comic anymore, so it just seems a little odd. Its like he made the book, and then made like 5 more comics over the course of a year because he was bored. I actually thought the comic had finished. Seemed like it would have made more sense to officially end the comic, and then make the book. Maybe he did, but just couldn't stay away forever.
But still, it's a great book, and a great collection. The art on the cover is amazing. I have never seen a prettier book in my life. A great collection of one of the weirdest comics out there.
I will comment on the quality of the book itself...it's very nice. The pages are thick, bright, and luxurious. The cover is hard and durable, with the graphics printed directly on the surface and no dust jacket. It even has an attached red satin ribbon to act as a bookmark. This book will look great as a (sick and twisted) coffee table book. It's almost a shame to put it in a shelf as the cover is such eyecandy, and just as bright and colorful as the pages. I really wasn't expecting this level of quality, and I couldn't be happier.