Bell, Marc – Shrimpy and Paul and Friends
For anybody out there putting together a “best of” collection for any of their characters, this is how you do it. There are strips and stories in here from many different years, letters from fans, Shrimpy appearances in other comics, newspaper strips (some in glorious, glorious color), a cover gallery, even a FAQ. For those of you who have never been introduced the world of Shrimpy and Paul, well, you no longer have an excuse. The pages aren’t numbered, but I’d guess that it’s about 150 pages of great stuff. My favorite story in the universe, “The Ball, the Goose, the Power” is in here, as well as an interconnected epic that involves Kevin, Chia-Man, Saul (Paul’s brother who lives in his nipple), Blimpy, Mushroom Hed, Ib-Ub, Miss Polly, Taco, Mennod, Lucky E., Sanitation Man-Of-Festo, Tim Horton, Goose, Texas Sheriff, Mills, Cubby, Mr. Socks, Captain Beige, Mr. Duck Chocolate, Sue, Jambo Stretch, and Grumpy Man in Small Home. Nobody, and I mean nobody, has panels as intricate as Marc. It would take you over an hour to skim through this book, but everything in it is begging to be examined closely. This is truly one of those books that gets better with every read, as there are a ton of tiny side characters everywhere that you miss if you blink. It’s $16.95, and it’s one of those books that I’d pass out to everybody I knew if I was made of money. The humor might not be for everybody, I guess, if you don’t like things that are funny. As for me, this gets my vote for best collection of the year. Somebody find this man and give him a regular series, or a newspaper strip, or something. Talent like this should be rewarded. E-mail address!