It’s starting to become one of my favorite pastimes, this idea of ordering webcomic collections with my DS money and then reviewing them. Especially since they are, by and large, collections I know I love and so can be based mostly on what the book offers that the webcomic cannot.
Of course, if you’ve got a new collection coming out that you want publicized, shoot us a copy (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for mailing address) and we’ll be happy to review it as well!
As a webcomic, Wondermark displays the dry, Monty Python-esque humor of creator David Malki! quite well, relying almost solely on his writing chops as the art is typically little more than clip art from the Victorian age. As a book, The Annotated Wondermark, the first collection of the Wondermark webcomic, is a much more varied example of the humor at play in the strip, as well as a better representation of how funny this guy can be even when he’s not making webcomics.
Needless to say, if your sense of humor is not of the driest, least saturated, most H20-deprived nature, most of Wondermark’s jokes will fail on every atttempt. On the other hand, if you’re the guy going around the office quoting Monty Python and the Holy Grail to whoever might listen, stop doing that and pick up this book!
The strips are the main feature here, and richly reproduced in all their black-and-white original glory. An interesting twist on the strips is their landscape orientation on each page, a stylistic choice which seems to be hard on most readers as it takes a few pages to get things set up and ready to go (and provides the funniest non-comic strip moment of the book).Â
The DVD-like extras we’ve come to know and expect from these collections are present and just as much of a mixed-bag as those they take their cue from. Deleted scenes are few and not-as-funny as those that made the cut for publication, much like those of nearly any DVD release, and a making-of feature, which goes on for 9 pages and takes steps directly out of an old-school printing press manual, is either hysterically dry or ridiculously lame, depending on your taste.
Overall, it’s Wondermark in print and if you like that idea, the extras are at least worth taking for a spin. Personally, I couldn’t wait to own a Wondermark collection after enjoying the webcomic so thoroughly, but the love-’em-or-leave-’em extras may not be everyone’s cup of tea.