Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hyperbole and a Half

I cheated a bit for this blog post. As you know, I usually only review graphic novels. This time I'm reviewing a graphic novel that you may be familiar with as a web series, Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. It collects some of the best stories from her autobiographical web series. The way she draws is utterly hilarious. It's a crazy style I'm sure you can't find anywhere else. Her art style and writing style can even make serious things funny. Her longest story is all about depression and it's still a little funny.

I really like the story called "God of Cake" about her 4-year-old self trying to steal and eat the cake her mother made for her grandpa's birthday. She really depicts a child's mindset, like when she imagined herself dead because she didn't get the cake and it was all her Mom's fault. That is a hyperbole. It's perfectly realistic behavior for a child who didn't get what they wanted. Link to story.

Another story I like, unfortunately, isn't in the book. It's about a dinosaur costume that
Allie wore for her second Halloween that she could dress up for. When she put on the costume she felt like she was the dinosaur, and dinosaurs cause chaos. She constantly feels a need to put on the costume and cause more chaos. link to story.

The art in this series is freaking hilarious. All of the people look completely insane. They all look like funny faced memes on legs. The other creatures look somewhat realistic. One of Allie's dogs, Simple Dog, moves in a very realistic fashion. When you see what Simple Dog is
thinking, it's like a completely different language from what the people are saying. Whenever Allie is talking or thinking, its just plain text, but when Simple Dog thinks, there are colors and shapes everywhere. The art in this series doesn't need words to be funny. You could look at three wordless panels and burst into laughter.

This book has a little bit of bad language. I think that if you're able to handle the F word, then you can handle this. The art work is really really funny, the stories are even more funny, and it's free to read online! Just like my blog! You may be thinking, "why would I buy a book that is just a collection of things I could read for free online?" Well, because you need Internet to read online, and that mean that you can't read her blog outside of the comfort of your own home. You can read the book if your Internet is out, you can read the book on the train and you can support Allie Brosh with your purchase. I would give Hyperbole and a Half 5 pointy pony tails out of five.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Incredible Change-Bots

Today I will be reviewing a book that I have loved for a very long time. It's a spoof of Transformers called Incredible Change-Bots by Jeffery Brown. It's about an alien planet of transforming robots who shout "INCREDIBLE-CHANGE!!!" when they transform from giant robots into cars, household appliances, or other machines. The book begins as these robots get into a war over the weekly election for the leader of their planet, Electronocybercircuitron. The leader of the Fantasticons, Shootertron, a power hungry robot who can turn into a gun, rigs the election. The
enraged leader of the Awesomebots, Big-Rig, a charismatic robot-truck, decides to start a "heavily armed peaceful protest" which ends up destroying the whole planet. To ensure their survival, the Fantasticons and the Awesomebots reluctantly work together to collect the scraps of their planet and build a spaceship. The rest of the book is about the run in's they have with humans and each other after they crash onto Earth.

I like how ridiculous this spoof is. For example, when Shootertron forces a human scientist to build a new weapon to use against the Awesomebots, the scientist builds a paper box which "incredible changes" into a paper crane. Who would think of an origami crane attacking giant robots. Not me.

The art in this book is very fun. It looks like a mix between something an adult would draw and a child would draw. Many of the books I review are colored with a computer. I am 99% sure that this book was colored with markers. The humans in this book have small round eyes and very pronounced wrinkles. The robots, for what they're worth, are drawn pretty simply. They are not nearly as detailed as the humans, but they're still pretty cool looking. The art is really just Jeffery Brown's trademark style. He drew the same way in the Big Head, an earlier graphic novel about a super hero who's power is that he has a big head, and the instantly famous Darth Vader and Son.

As I already told you, this is a spoof of the Transformers cartoon. I, for one, have never seen the show, but I have heard that it's not very funny or self-mocking. Incredible Change-Bots, on the other hand, is hilarious and never stops making fun of how ridiculous its plot and characters are. The only similarity between Incredible Change-Bots and Transformers that I know of is that they both have transforming alien robots.

This book is appropriate for all audiences. The violence is mild and most of the time, it's just slapstick. I enjoyed it when was younger, I enjoy it now, and I will probably enjoy it in the future. If you enjoy Incredible Change-Bots, there is a sequel that takes place where the first one left off. I would give Incredible Change-Bots 5 robot-microwaves out of 5.