There I was, at Quimby’s In Chicago, and I could have gotten both of the other Keith Knight books, but did I? How could I be so stupid? Granted, I had just spent something near $100 on comics, but still… I think this is his first collection and, while I think he got funnier after 9/11 when he started skewering news topics instead of just daily life, this is still some funny shit. That’s all you really have to say about a comedy book, right? Whether or not it’s funny? My only minor problem was that I don’t think the strips were run in order, or maybe Keith has a really confusing life. Doesn’t matter that much, it’s just that I feel compelled to be negative all the time about something. Topics in here are about all sorts of things, including roommates, Jerry Garcia, sheep, supermodels, cars, comic conventions, airplanes and old friends. And about a zillion other things too, but what do you want? The book’s 136 pages long, there’s bound to be all kinds of things talked about and you should really be reading that instead of thing anyway. Contact info is up there, spend money!
I’m afraid this review is going to be useless, because I can sum it up in one line: this is funny too. Sure, I’ll keep rambling for a while, but that’s what it boils down to. The art’s amazing all the way through (he had been doing minis for years, so it’s not like he didn’t get the practice in). It just looked in places like the format kind of limited him. Or I’m paranoid, take your pick. There’s also the fact that I don’t think he really hit his stride until after 9/11 and his strips got a little more serious. OK, just so this seems like a review that might be of some use to the reading public, here are the subjects of some of his strips: cops, Star Wars, viagra, roommates, San Francisco, Prague, and his first mid-life crisis. This is another pretty big collection of comics for cheap, so I don’t think there’s any good reason for you not to get it. Unless you don’t like laughing, of course…
Anybody who is at all familiar with political cartoonists already knows all about Keith Knight. I’m not sure what category he falls in because plenty of his strips are just about everyday things while a few of them are political, but who cares? The important thing is that he’s damned funny. I read his “K Chronicles” and “This Modern World”, and that’s pretty much it for weekly strips these days. Granted, I only started reading this one a few months ago, but it’s good to see that I’m going to have this much fun catching up. My only problem with this book is that he doesn’t include dates on his strips. A minor thing, granted, but it would have been nice to have some reference points. The only one with a date on it is from 9/11/01 and that’s only because it was the only deadline he ever missed (it’s an empty page). Past that, his strips are busy, he has an energetic and cartoony drawing style that makes you smile just to look at it, and he makes a lot of really good points. Can’t ask for much more than that from a cartoonist. Check out his weekly strip here or just visit his website. It’s funny and you can find that out by reading a couple hundred of his strips for free, so what are you waiting for?
Another day, another random mish-mash of an anthology. I really had high hopes for this one too. It’s edited by Peter Conrad and here are just some of the names in it (don’t you hate it when people do that? You know that they’re always leaving off the lesser-known people for no good reason): Sam Henderson, Neil Fitzpatrick, Jesse Reklaw, Keith Knight, Carrie McNinch, James Kochalka, John Hankiewicz, David Lasky and Ted Rall. It’s an OK book, but very few things stand out when you get done reading it. The Sam Henderson and James Kochalka stories weren’t even funny, and those are usually a sure thing. Keith Knight, John Hankiewicz, Neil Fitzpatrick and Ted Rall were the highlights for me. Everything else was somewhere between pretty good and unremarkable. It’s cheap at $7.95 and you can’t beat that lineup, but… eh.