by James Kochalka
I reviewed some of the material in this book before, when I read the first three issues of the Peanutbutter & Jeremy comic books, so I’ll keep this short. (In fact, reading notes is a blurb on the back cover of the book.)
Kochalka serves up a great big helping of all-ages comic humor in Best Book Ever. The quirky stories explore the nature of cats and friendship. The crow Jeremy tries to steal Peanutbutter’s hats, calls her a liar, and is scheming, nasty, and selfish. That doesn’t stop good-natured cat Peanutbutter from trying to be good to Jeremy, even caring for him when he gets a concussion. (Of course when Jeremy regains consciousness “under the most comfortable chair” in the office, he accuses Peanutbutter: “that’s where you take your victims to lick them!”)
With bold black lines, Kochalka clearly and cleanly drives his stories forward. He draws scenes with just the details needed to make them seem “real” and then stops, every line essential. He also has a hell of knack for cute: I found myself more than once wanting to pat Peanutbutter on the head.
If you are a Kochalka fan, you probably already have this book. If you are new to comics, or are looking for a good, kid-friendly comic, buy this book. You won’t be disappointed. I certainly wasn’t.