It’s been a long time since I wrote a post about the silly books in my collection (you can visit my first post here and my second post here), but at long last this entirely irregular feature has returned in all its complete lack of glory.
In this instalment, I am looking specifically at books released by the authors of some of the funnier webcomics that I find myself viewing online on a regular basis. Of course, this begs the question: if you can view the webcomics online for free, why would you pay money just to have them in book form? Read on to discover my thoughts on the matter.
Cyanide & Happiness is easily one of the most offensive webcomics on the internet. It is also one of the most successful and long-running online comics (since 2005), and it stands as a peak of internet hilarity to which many other webcomic artists aspire. This is their second book, and is substantially better than their first, because it not only includes another 150 classic strips, and 30 new strips, but also an “Interactivities” section, with various inappropriate but fun activities to complete (or just laugh at). Is this book worth purchasing despite the thousands of comics already online? Absolutely!
The webcomic from which this book derives, Left-Handed Toons, is based on an interesting idea – the drawings are made by two right-handed people, but using their left, non-dominant hands. As a result, the comics are badly drawn, but in a kind of funny way, and when combined with the obscure wit of both authors, the result is hilarious. The book doesn’t present anything new, but it does vaguely categorise the comics contained within. Is it worth buying? If you enjoy it, I’d say yes – probably look up the website first before spending money on the book, just to make sure it’s your kind of humour.
The Oatmeal is a hugely successful webcomic/blog run entirely by one man, Matthew Inman. For the most part, it consists of odd little guides to things, along with exaggerated drawings that are often just as funny as the concepts themselves. Many of the guides centre around issues of grammar and spelling, but others are much more random, such as ‘8 Ways to Prepare Your Pets For War’ and ‘7 Reasons to Keep Your Tyrannosaur off Crack Cocaine” among many more. The book features some of the best of these guides and lists, along with new comics and even a pull out poster. Is this worth an investment of your hard-earned cash? Definitely (with an ‘i’, not an ‘a’, as one of his spelling guides will inform you).
This is by no means an exhaustive list of webcomics that have released books, so chances are I will come back and do another one of these down the track.
Do you think it’s worth spending money on something you can view for free online? Would you buy these books?