Thursday, July 24, 2008

Books Worth Buying

I bought a lot of books during my stay in Minnesota, so I felt I should recommend some.

By Patrick McDonnell

I've always been a fan of Mutts. Lot to love about it: the simple, old-fashioned artwork, poetic writing, and, best of all, it offers social commentary without hitting you on the head with a shovel, a rarity indeed.

This is a hardback book collecting strips Patrick himself has selected from the first decade of the strip's run. It's apparent that this was intended to come out when Mutts celebrated its 10th anniversary; however, it wasn't published until last year (no strips from 2005 to present are included).

I think the best part about the book is that the Sunday strips are reprinted from newspaper tearsheets, so the 'old fashioned' feel is increased because of that. It makes this book even better.

Comments from Patrick are included in the start of every year.

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By Stephan Pastis

Now let's flip the coin. In contrast to the "sweet" nature of Mutts, Pearls Before Swine is very cynical, frequently featuring discussions of death, and also the stupidity of people in general. Not that it's a bad thing.

This is the third treasury of Pastis' strip. As with the first two, many of the strips feature commentary from the cartoonist and the Sundays are printed in color. As a bonus, the last few pages of the book is dedicated to never-before-published Pearls strips. All comes with commentary explaining why it wasn't published.

If you love to read comic strips featuring a cynical rat who likes to scam people, this book is right for you.

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