January 5, 2009

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Penny Arcade Volume 1

Written by Jerry Holkins
Illustrated by Mike Krahulik
Dark Horse

There are an awful lot of web comics out there--so many, in fact, that I have a horrible time trying to keep track of them. I generally leave it to my friend Noah to point me to the best of it, then when I forget, to remind me again.

Penny Arcade is one such webcomic.

More durable than many, Arcade goes back to 1998. This book is a collection of roughly the first two years, complete with commentary. Since the comics themselves are freely available online, it's the commentary which makes the book.

Over the 150 or so pages, you'll find cartoons about many of the things that make the late 90s so much fun: Sega Dreamcast, Video Stores (what are those again?), Star Wars, and more video games than you can shake a stick at.

The artwork is simple but effective, and almost all of the jokes hold up--provided you're roughly my age. A person who graduated HS when I graduated from College would probably look at this and ask, "Who's Duke Nukem?" but that's true with any kind of topical humour. Even still, there's enough general jokes or timeless ones that I wouldn't NOT recommend it to someone younger. However, if you remember when there was still only a PS1 and Sonic only played for the home team, you're in for a real treat.