Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Book-A-Day #63 (9/18): The Best of Bizarro by Dan Piraro

I found this at the bookstore for half price the last time I was there, so I couldn't resist.

It's from 1992, and I hadn't thought Bizarro (this is the newspaper comics panel) was old enough to have already had a "Best of" back then, but this claims to be the seventh Bizarro book, and those kind of books are usually annual, so we can all do the math.

I was reading this a few pages a night just before going to bed -- strip cartoon collections are great like that, since you can pick them up and put them down on any page (and reading them straight through is usually monotonous, anyway). And I finished it off on Monday because I was reading parts of a book for SFBC (which I won't mention, again, since I didn't finish it).

Piraro is pretty consistent; if you like his style of humor, you'll laugh at most of the cartoons here, just like you would with any of his collections. His humor isn't as bizarre as it's sometimes billed -- he does do a gag cartoon for the daily papers, after all, so it's accessible to a reasonably large audience -- but it's generally amusing, and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny.

This book isn't arranged chronologically, which would have been nice -- it looks like Piraro's art style changed quite a bit over the years, and being able to follow that would be nice. (In fact, what I think are the earliest cartoons look very much like Bob Burden's early style -- light crosshatching, very deformed faces, uncomfortable body language -- and I'd love to know if the two of them had any connection.)

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