Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Webcomic in Print

I read a few webcomics, not a ton.  Some of them lend themselves more to publication in print than others.  There are sets of strips that remind me of hours I spent flipping through Calvin and Hobbes and Bloom County as a kid--for this, I go to Kate Beaton or xkcd.  There are ongoing stories, graphic-novel-style; I follow a few of these online--Gunnerkrigg Court, Blindsprings.  Some of them might lend themselves to book form--I actually find that the density of spreading the pages out over days can get a bit confusing; I can't follow half of Blindspring because so much is hinted at.

Anyway, I had never heard of Katie Cook's Gronk: A Monster's Story before I saw the ARC listed on Netgalley, but when I saw the cover I had to read it.  Gronk is an adorable monster who hates living in the deep, dark, monstery woods, so she comes out to live with geek girl Dale and her cat, Kitty, and her dog, Harli.  Gronk loves cupcakes and nerd culture.  She's adorable.

Her comics are adorable, too. I read them to my six-year-old, and although he required some explanations, and missed out on my delight over Dale's geeky T-shirt collection, he was quite fond of them.  I personally love the big, sweet dog, Harli.  These are charming little comic strips.

I'm not sure they make a book, though.  A lot of them are one-panel gags--not slapstick, but funny or aw-shucks cute.  That's the kind of thing that reads better in a one-shot, right?  Where you're coming to it, getting your moment of zen, and then moving on with your day, rather than going from one moment of zen to the next till you're glutted with zen.

I read these with my son, who's 6.  He liked it, made me keep reading even when he didn't get all the references (he doesn't know Harry Potter yet), and loved the kitties.  Maybe, if I'd read it on my own, I would have dipped in and out in a way that was more conducive to enjoying it as it is.  Then again, since it was an ebook, it's not like I would have treated it like a coffee table book to dip into and out of. 

I've bookmarked Gronk, and I'm going to read every one from now on, so whether the book was the best introduction or not, it got me hooked.  I suppose that speaks highly of it!  Katie Cook, I like your taste in books.  And monsters.

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