Book Reviews: Not Comic Strippers

Dad: Daddy’s Girls
One father, four daughters. As a man in a similar family situation told me, “I have no idea what god I offended.” Don’t know if it helps or hurts that they each have different mothers. (Though I have no doubt some male readers are pounding their chests with a V sign and muttering, “Respect!”)
Though not in traditional comic strip form, there’s one mini-story per page, with about eight panels each, usually pitting man against girls. You can guess who wins most of the battles. Luckily it’s all pretty good-natured.
A heart attack scare means he wins. . . until he finds out he has to take suppositories.
My favorites are the athletic little redhead and the baby who, even when she can’t walk, beats the old man at a dance video game.
Things can be tough for a teenaged girl—or younger—when her middle-aged father’s an actor in commercials; bad enough he’s the Sniffle Guy, but modeling underwear. . .
I can commiserate with him about putting together kids’ toys feeling like building a log cabin, but I’m glad he didn’t complain about reading to all his daughters, not just the baby.
“I admit it. I’m not the perfect father you thought I was.” Truer words. . .
Despite the sometimes-not-so-playful acrimony, there’s an underlying gentle sweetness to it all. Makes it more than worthwhile.
And if I ever meet a woman named Pandora, I’m definitely calling her Panda. . .

Big Nate Goes Bananas!
Another volume of the comic strip featuring the loveable loser who is completely different than Charlie Brown.
Some of the plots are recurring, such as the name of the baseball team—Cupcakes is infinitely worse than Cream Puffs—and Nate actually sticking up for his sister, while others I haven’t seen before, like uncle Ted babysitting, and Nate being a trendsetter.
But really, after so many, what is there left to say? If you liked these in the past, you’ll like this one too. If you haven’t seen it before, check it out. They’re usually funny.

Sister BFFs
The title tells you all you need to know, and the cover informs as to how basic the artwork is.
My fave line: “You monstrosity!” Other highlights:
There’s a panel that is unintentionally funny to everyone outside Britain, or I guess the Commonwealth: Whoever could have thought it would be a good idea to have separate spigots in a sink for the hot and cold water?
They make up by watching cat memes.
“You’ve a stubborn face, but I’ve done my best.”
“Instead of losing a ball, you gain a ball.”
Some of the text conversations are funny, others go too long.
“Just a normal braid, yeah?” “Obviously.” Uh, no. . .
They do love to body-slam each other. They’re worse than big brothers, and that includes fart stuff. And poo stuff.
It’s actually my job to wear and review pajamas. I’m at work.”
“Why do my hands smell like vegan people?”
I can do without the sound effects that describe exactly what I’m looking at, like “shuffle.”
Back to the artwork. The hands and feet are incredibly tiny compared to the rest of the body, making for proportions that look strange. They both have permanent duck lips. There are times when too much is stuffed into a bubble, making it incredibly hard to read.
All in all, funny enough for a gander. Makes me glad I never had a sister. . .

Sharky Malarkey: A Sketchshark Collection
Since it’s a collection, there are different sections, some better than others. They shall be named: Megan, shark, lady, and dance party.
Obviously Megan is the first, which serves as a good intro for the kind of humor in this book. One of my favorite lines was, “Interrupt me again and I will leave you at the nearest Scientology center!” Another good one is “He’s a Man’s man!” Some of the jokes don’t work, some are too meta, but for the most part this is an entertaining collection. The best jokes are probably the most ridiculous ones.
BUT. . .
It’s bad enough that Megan has the cat from hell—oh, wait, that’s all of them—but she keeps a cat while being ALLERGIC to them? See that flying out the window? That’s any sympathy I might have had.
I didn’t find the shark section funny at all. The only one where I nodded had to do with dogs and babies. Oh well, guess I can’t make a “jumping the shark” remark there.
On to the lady section. The “vertical mermaid” is going to give me nightmares. When someone likes you because you’re “real,” don’t ask them what they mean.
Even the finale dance party gets meta.
I wish I could give it a higher grade, because I did enjoy parts, but there were other sections that I would have skipped over had I known how much I wouldn’t like them. Oh well.

Goldilocks and the Infinite Bears: A Pie Comics Collection
There’s no defining plot to these hilarious bits of insanity; this is more like those one-panel strips that have a slice of life, except these are longer. None of that matters, as this is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read.
On to the best jokes.
Right off the bat I laugh at the joke that names this collection: how cold the porridge is, and how many there are, and why.
Frogs can do anything with social media.
“I like my glass a little stained.” What started off as a bit of social commentary turned into a well-crafted and slightly naughty joke. Awesome.
“East Hell?” Sure.
Some of these are more incredibly clever than LOL funny, like the Shakespeare lost opportunities.
“Aw, I’m their boo!” I can picture Trump in that role.
That thing about certain badly-named animals. . . totally me.
Yep, don’t trust that road-crossing chicken!
Puppies are so an element.
I admit I had the same thought about Little Red Riding Hood.
Murder-spikes and rainbow tails of pain. Perfect.
Totally get the Rudolph thing.
The dragon that barfs peanut butter could get a job anywhere, even if it is chunky. . . especially since it’s chunky.
“Let me check the rescue/sexual favor exchange rate first.”
Something felt really good inside when I read the blurb on the back and saw that the author writes for The Onion.

Ozy and Millie
Being a huge fan of Phoebe and Her Unicorn, I couldn’t resist checking out the previous strip the author did, and unfortunately I couldn’t keep myself from making some comparisons. Still, it was more than funny enough on its own.
The dragon is either “wise or messing with everyone.” Author’s words. Ozy is way too Zen even for a cartoon. Millie somehow reminds me of Phoebe, but more in her look than in her manner. Personality-wise they’re completely polar opposites. Their moms, on the other hand, are a lot alike, and I’m okay with that. On the third foot, Phoebe’s dad and the dragon have nothing in common. Maybe the dragon and the unicorn. . .
On to the best parts.
There’s little difference between a hippie and a vase.
“I really don’t understand laws.” “Yes, I’ve noticed that about you.”
I’m with Millie: I’d like a six-foot-tall grape too.
There’s a lot more academic philosophy here than in. . . any comic strip ever.
I don’t think the Tao would have approved of stealing a cookie, but Ozy was right to take it.
“You are a little girl.” “Oh right.”
I wanna see what an exaggerated sigh looks on paper!
“The DMV administrator shoots like an Imperial stormtrooper.” I very much doubt that sentence will ever see the light of day in any other situation. Similarly, the glossary at the end is unlikely to be repeated.
At the end there’s a tutorial on how to draw the characters. Remember, “He’s a chill fox.”
The artwork doesn’t vary all that much, though it does seem to have more diversity than the unicorn one. The one thing I didn’t like was the dragon’s font; it was difficult to make out.
If this had been written by someone else, or if I’d seen it before I became a fan of Phoebe and Her Unicorn, I probably would have liked it a lot more. The problem is in not being able to stop myself from comparing. Still a solid read, though.

Little Pierrot Vol. 3
The further adventures of a too-smart kid and his snail sidekick, this time finding him in puppy love with a classmate.
This is the second in this series I’ve read, and much like that other one, this collection of comic strips isn’t so much a LOL kinda thing as much as designed to get a slight chuckle and a thoughtful stare. For example, all the kids dress strangely, but Emily looks like she’s all grown up. . . in the 19th century. Too bad it wasn’t real.
There’s a strange yet beautiful illustration of some kind of mythical creature—maybe a tiny troll—and a soccer ball.
Things grow quickly out of hand in the “Can you see that?” game. An elephant with wings dancing ballet would usually be at the end of such a joke, not at the beginning.
I didn’t find this one as entertaining as the previous, possibly because it was trying to be more adorable than usual with the first love thing.


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