Monday, May 2, 2011

LITERATURE: Unsuccessfully Competing Against TV Since 1953 by Dave Kellett

What You Need to Know:  This Eisner-nominated collection of webcomics features nerd-humor, literature jokes and a talking duck that would appeal to the geek minded.

Summary: Sheldon, a 10 year old software millionaire, lives with his grandfather, a talking duck, a pet lizard, and a dog.  This group, along with Sheldon's dim best friend, discuss various aspects of culture and literature, including Lord of the Rings, Shakespeare and Robert Frost.  

What worked:  This is a book for English weenies.  If a 10 year old genius recreating the moon landing as Emily Dickinson sounds funny to you, you will adore this book.  Kellett's artwork is simple but fun, with cartoony expressions and a loose feel that makes up for the lack of detail. 

What didn't:  Not an English weenie?  This book isn't that funny.  And, as a web-comic, this is more similar to a collection of newspaper strips than a narrative; most of the gags are done in 3 panels.  As such, this technically isn't a graphic novel.  

Interesting side note:  I became aware of this collection when it was nominated for an Eisner award for Best Humor Publication.  However, I didn't realize it till Kellett made it available for download as a free PDF.  I don't know if that was a good strategy vis-√†-vis Eisner voters, but I do know that is part of my daily webcomics check now.  

Who would I give this book to:  Fellow librarians, kids with a strong background in classic lit and geeky interests.  Of course, my English weenie of a husband loves it too.  

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