Crum, Kel – The Cornelia Collection

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The Cornelia Collection

Let’s say that you’ve seen Kel’s comics over the years (and the man has been doing this for at least the last 10 years), but maybe you picked up a mini of his that wasn’t 100% funny to you. Or maybe his vast selection of minis intimidated you, you big baby you. Well, you’re officially out of excuses to give the guy a shot, as this collection clearly only has the best of his material in it, and you’re damned near guaranteed to laugh at least once during each of the stories. And there are lots of stories! For you new readers, Cornelia is a short woman in her mid 20′s who can’t handle her booze, has shallow friends and not much in the way of personal ambition. And she’s considered ugly by the rest of the characters, which becomes more important as you go. Stories in here range from several pages to one page strips, with short pieces about Ed Thud (another of Kel’s characters) sprinkled throughout just in case all that estrogen starts to get to you. Which is a little jarring, as this is listed as a Cornelia collection, but hey, minor quibble. Stories about Cornelia include a series of three of her dreams (of increasing insanity/self-loathing, and he sets a high bar for the rest of the book right away), going to the wrong rave, fighting for disco, trying to fit into the busy schedule of a friend, Cornelia’s dad getting tired of the fact that all corners of society that used to be just for men are now for women too and his quest to win a beauty contest, trying to find the last group of beings that you can still make fun of without getting in trouble, joining a protest group with ADHD and not reading the fine print, trying to win a radio contest by revealing the cure for AIDS, having to stand as the sole representative of her age group, her 15 minutes of fame, trying to get a DVD collection of her cancelled favorite show, the dangers of studies showing that certain types of alcohol are good for your health, the schemes of her friend to get Cornelia her job back while Cornelia is stuck in a lobby reading magazines from the 80′s for hours, indulging in a pint of ice cream with her friend (who has recently been broken up with) and misreading an ad for applying to the Vagina Monologues. The Ed Thud stories include the recurring problem of his head falling off, the superhero who helps him get his CD open (which makes me wish that Kel had included publication strips for some of these strips), the new Hitler youth organization going door to door with an entirely new perspective, the offer he gets for his used car, and his awkward realization that he’s on a reality show. Whatever you think happens in those stories based on my description, chances are that Kel takes it in an entirely different direction. Give it a shot, it’s funny! $9

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