CBR14Bingo – White Elephant: OK, this is stretching this one, but this is the perfect sort of thing to actually use in a white elephant gift exchange. It’s weird enough to make people go ??? but also interesting and cute enough to make them go !!!
Sarah Andersen brings her signature humor and charm to spooky season. I’ve been a pretty big fan of her other work, and I’m a pretty big fan of crytpids (please check out some of my other questionable reading choices), so this was a slam-dunk for me. It’s silly and adorable!
This collection stars a cryptozoologist’s dream of crypts, from classic ones like Bigfoot and the Chupacabra to newer ones like Sirenhead and Slenderman. For those of us not so up to date, there’s a helpful who’s who section in the back. Unlike the author’s previous collections, all of the comics are in gorgeous full color. The art is whimsical and emotive (which I imagine had to be hard with the characters who don’t have faces!) and fits the subject perfectly.
Despite the fact this collection stars supposedly scary cryptids instead of the usual stand-in for the author, a lot of the themes are the same. There’s social anxiety, like what happens when the crypts try to take a group photo. There’s fashion commentary, like the Fresno Nightcrawlers complimenting the Flatwoods Monster’s dress (“It has pockets!”) or Big Foot and Slenderman commiserating over how hard it is to find clothes that fit. And hey, cryptids have some of the same problems as us, like trying to find a babysitter (the siren has some, uh, out of the box suggestions for the Kraken).
While most of the comics made me smile, there were a few duds and a few that made me laugh out loud. This isn’t the sort of collection that leaves you rolling on the floor laughing, but rather one that makes you smile and awww in adorableness. There’s a couple of running gags (the siren’s many bad dates, Mothman’s obsession with lights, the sweetest friendship between Bigfoot and Nessie) but for the most part they’re unconnected.
Overall, this is a great collection of comics perfectly timed for Halloween season. If you’re a fan of Sarah Andersen’s other work, you won’t be disappointed!
I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.