The mini-reviews are back! But this time, they aren’t to get me out of a slump. I wanted to lump these two together because I read them back to back and found my opinions of them to be very similar. Both are great comics, and I hope to follow up on them in the future.
Randall Munroe describes xkcd as a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language. While it’s practically required reading in the geek community, xkcd fans are as varied as the comic’s subject matter. This book creates laughs from science jokes on one page to relationship humor on another.
xkcd: volume 0 is the first book from the immensely popular webcomic with a passionate readership (just Google “xkcd meetup”).
The artist selected personal and fan favorites from his first 600 comics. It was lovingly assembled from high-resolution original scans of the comics (the mouseover text is discreetly included), and features a lot of doodles, notes, and puzzles in the margins.
Description taken from Goodreads.
I love xkcd and Randall Munroe. I think his book Thing Explainer is brilliant, and What If even more so. I would highly recommend those two reads. But all things considered, I’m currently not smart enough to completely understand everything in xkcd volume 0.
Even though he claims he was “never a good student” in the beginning of the book, Randall Munroe is seriously smart (and nerdy). This book is chock full of references and math and science, and it’s glorious. I loved the segments on coding especially (partly because I felt like Thor in that I understood his references and mostly because I appreciated Munroe even more).
Based off of what I did understand, I would say xkcd volume 0 is completely worth a read. There are gems on every page, and I regret that I couldn’t fully love all of it. I hate to say it, but it’s true: while I loved this book, and while I would recommend it, it’s not the kind of story I would mindlessly read because I love it so much (i.e. Calvin & Hobbes). Volume 0 isn’t mindless, but there’s a certain beauty to that too. All in all, I loved the book, and I would recommend it. I’m excited to see what other volumes Munroe comes out with.
Are you a special snowflake?
Do you enjoy networking to advance your career?
Is adulthood an exciting new challenge for which you feel fully prepared?
Ugh. Please go away.
This book is for the rest of us. These comic document the wasting of entire beautiful weekends on the internet, the unbearable agony of holding hands on the street with a gorgeous guy, dreaming all day of getting home and back into pajamas, and wondering when, exactly, this adulthood thing begins. In other words, the horrors and awkwardnesses of young modern life.
Description taken from Goodreads.
Something about Adulthood is a Myth didn’t resonate with me completely. I didn’t fly through the pages and love every panel of it the way I’ve loved other comic strips, and I was reminded of that when I was reading parts of xkcd (yes, those words hurt me too).
I think part of it is that I don’t fully get it. As much as I relate to Sarah, I also don’t relate to her in a lot of ways. I feel like it’s hard to truly love her comic unless you can fully relate to her. I’m probably not explaining this correctly. This is one of those stories where I think it’s best for prospective readers to go out and get a taste of it for themselves. Only that’ll truly tell whether it’s your cup of tea or not, and maybe a few of you will understand what I’m saying.
A slightly less bothersome note, but even in this short book, I felt like the comics spun around only a few topics. By the middle of the book, I was getting tired of some of the points she hit on.
None of this is to say that I disliked Adulthood is a Myth. I thought it was still well-worth the read, and there were some awesome comics in this collection. Anderson’s work reminds me very much of Hyperbole and a Half, so if you try her comics and decide they’re not for you, maybe scooch on over to Allie Brosh’s stuff. Both of them are very talented, and I thoroughly enjoy their comics.
All in all, I enjoyed both of these for their individuality. Did I love them to pieces? No. But they were worth reading, xkcd because Randall Munroe is brilliant and brings his science class to life, and Adulthood is a Myth because hey, adulthood is a myth. I would recommend both if you enjoy comics.
- xkcd volume 0: 3 stars
- Adulthood is a Myth: 3 stars