Thursday, April 27, 2023

Strange Planet by Nathan W. Pyle

So this is the first book collecting Nathan Pyle's "Strange Planet" comics, in which large-headed Beings do all of the things normal humans do but, and this is the funny bit, they describe it in slightly more convoluted, Latinate language.

It's one of those jokes that seems super-obvious once someone else has made it, and yet no one made that joke quite that way before. So it's the obviousness of being really funny and relatable rather than the obviousness of "I've seen this before."

That first book, unsurprisingly, is named Strange Planet. I'd previously read the follow-up, equally unsurprisingly named Stranger Planet, and talked there about the joys and nuances of the series. This book is just like that, only more so, since it has the earlier cartoons, which tend to be more fundamental and universal.

I don't think I mentioned this the first time, but it's a major part of the appeal: the formalistic language gives Pyle coverage to bluntly state things that are more philosophical or usually left unstated, to make clear the default assumptions of life in a generally light, amusing way.

For example: a lifeguard is talking with a Being in a pool, explaining:

"I am observing you to prevent you from perishing."

"All day?"

"No - just while you are here in liquid."

"There are many other ways I could perish."

"I cannot assist you with those."

As before, this is A Thing, and it's all that one set-up. Some readers won't be interested in that particular joke, which is fine. But it's a really good joke, and Pyle has spent a lot of time working out a lot of smart, funny variations on it. He seems to, after these two books, have turned to making massive amounts of merchandise based on his Licensable Characters as well, for those who want "Imagine Pleasant Nonsense" on a onesie for their shorter beings.

No comments:

Post a Comment