The Horrifically Complete Non-Winner by Kelli Nelson
Here it is, the perfect book for anybody who has ever enjoyed a good journal comic. Well, almost anybody, as I guess if you hated Kelliâ€™s work for some reason this wouldnâ€™t be for you, but whatâ€™s not to like here? This is the complete (as that cover may suggest) collection of her Non-Winner strip, done from 2001 through 2005. Iâ€™d never seen plenty of these, as she did most of these online, and itâ€™s taken me weeks to get through the whole thing, as Iâ€™ve been picking it up and reading bits of it at a time. If youâ€™ve ever read a journal comic and thought â€œwhat the hell were they thinking with this one?â€ or â€œthis weekâ€™s strip looks like a complete waste of timeâ€, well, Kelli is kind/neurotic enough provide commentary for every single one of these, going into details about her fractured family life and other personal details. At times the quality of the strips arenâ€™t the best, as these were taken from her computer and some of these were designed with color or odd little tricks, but itâ€™s only noticeable on a very few of these. Topics in here include pretty much everything in Kelliâ€™s life for those 5 years: family, married life, video games, comic conventions, dealing with publishers, hating (then eventually loving) Joss Whedon, and just about everything else you could think of. As for the commentary, I thought it would get on my nerves, but it ended up being completely fascinating. She adds all sorts of tidbits to everything, taking full responsibility when the strips sucked (mostly the â€œthrowawayâ€ type strips that she had to do while under deadline for something else) and adding relevant information to everything, including the awkward fact that her family did read her strip although she really, really wished they wouldnâ€™t. For anybody who has ever wondered exactly what goes into making a journal strip, this is the perfect book for you. Hell, even if you arenâ€™t even a little bit curious, you can still just ignore the commentary and enjoy the strips. Itâ€™s a thoroughly enjoyable book, and itâ€™s a damned shame that she decided to (temporarily?) give these up.