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Penny Arcade: Attack of the Bacon Robots

July 13, 2009

I’m continuing the little series that I started last week with book one from the Penny Arcade web comic. Wednesday will be book one of the Megatokyo collections. I have book two of both the Penny Arcade and Megatokyo books. I might look at both for now though, it might just be through the first books.

Penny Arcade: Attack of the Bacon Robots

ABR collects the strips from 1998 through the year 2000.

Unlike the PvP collection that I talked about last time Penny Arcade doesn’t really have story arcs. The ones that they happen to do don’t generally last more than three strips in length.

According to their website (through Tycho’s blog posts) and the book itself this collection had a few problems with legal issues before it was able to be printed. This collection doesn’t come with many extra materials. There are a few of Gabe’s sketches a forward by Bill Amend, and an intro and afterword by Tycho.

Under each of the strips there are comments by Tycho talking about the various strips and an occasional reprint of some particularly hilarious blog posts from their early years.

The style that Penny Arcade uses for their book is one of my personal favorites as far as web comic collections goes. Each strip has a little bit of commentary by the creators (Tycho here). Sometimes it’s explaining things in the comics, which helps me because there were things from those years that I had forgotten. Sometimes it’s the creators being baffled by their own creations.

This book is, for me, a great example of how to collect web comics strips in a meaningful way that does justice to the “continuity” if there is any or lets you follow the progression of their work. I like seeing how the artwork changes and the way that this book has things laid out you can really see the little changes that the characters go through to their more present states.

If you can I’d recommend picking up the Penny Arcade books, most especially if you really like computers and video games. They’re early stuff is way nerdier and geek culture oriented than their newer stuff. I know that their website has a deal with all five of their current collections which I would buy but I already have the first two books, I’ll just go individually for myself.

See you Wednesday with a look at the way Fred Gallagher collects his Megatokyo strips.

Scyo.

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