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Achewood Volume 2: Worst Song, Played on Ugliest Guitar [Hardcover]

Chris Onstad

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Book Description

Sept. 22 2009 Achewood (Book 2)
Riding high on the success of The Great Outdoor Fight, Achewood and Dark Horse Comics have compiled an extensively annotated collection of the first few years' worth of Achewood comics. This is no mere companion volume to the cult-classic online strip: the entire prehistory of Achewood is set forth for the first time, and all of the celebrated alt-texts are included. Additionally, author Chris Onstad has literally littered the book with observations and rudities. TIME magazine named back-to-back Ignatz Award-winner Achewood its 2007 Graphic Novel of the Year, and legions of devoted fans consistently report that it makes them feel the way Bloom County and Calvin and Hobbes did when they were young.

Frequently Bought Together

Achewood Volume 2: Worst Song, Played on Ugliest Guitar + Achewood Volume 3: A Home for Scared People + Achewood Volume 1: The Great Outdoor Fight
Price For All Three: CDN$ 38.61

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Books (Sept. 22 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595822399
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595822390
  • Product Dimensions: 24.7 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #129,836 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For casual and dedicated fans alike Sept. 21 2009
By Brian Beck - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My first thought upon seeing this product was "wait a minute, aren't those strips already available in print?" And indeed, I own these same strips in the other printed compilations.

However, this hardcover is a much better offering. Not only is the original alt-text for every comic visible, but many of the strips are annotated by the author. These annotations aren't just points of interest for the obsessed Achewood fan, but are often as funny as the comics themselves.

This volume also adds several chapters to the Story of Achewood, each narrating the arrival of one of the characters. The humor in these chapters has been greatly stepped up from those written in previous compilations, and are very enjoyable.

But my favorite part of this volume--by far--is the prologue. It tells of a typical rainy-day exchange between Onstad, Ray, and Roast Beef. While Onstad may have a flair for dramatic story arcs, his most humorous pieces are those describing everyday conversations and events. It is easy to see why: we love these characters for their personalities (especially their mannerisms and vernacular), and this is best distilled in the mundane, without the distractions of action and drama.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best webcomic now in hardcover Sept. 21 2009
By SJN - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Achewood is basically the story of a group of anthropomorphic animals who are more believably human than the characters found in most webcomics. Achewood's cast resonates on such a personable level because it's about people you already know. Even if you've never had the pleasure of meeting a talking cat wearing a thong, you have undoubtedly met a Ray Smuckles, or a Roast Beef. The lovable neurotic, the droll intellectual, the eternally youthful child -- all the people you know in real life will pop out of these pages. Because at its heart, Achewood is a slice-of-life story.

This volume is the definitive primer for people curious about Achewood, presented with background stories, setting layout, and other information that wasn't revealed until much later in the comic's run. The volume also starts with the introduction of the cats, a point which the author and many fans consider as the real moment Achewood finds its voice. Older strips stretching back to the comic's inception are also included.

Already established fans still have plenty of reasons to pick up this volume beyond reading their favorite comic in a handsome hardcover collection. Each strip contains the author's annotations as well as the original comic and alt-text. Three jokes per strip is a pretty good value. And the aforementioned background stories are all illuminating and terribly cute.

Everyone should buy this book. It's the start of something beautiful.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite possibly the most important literary work of a generation Oct. 4 2009
By bbbPhD - Published on Amazon.com
OK, that is maybe a bit grandiose. But I am not exaggerating when I say that I think Achewood is very likely the funniest thing in any medium being produced right now. This book would be a great introduction to the uninitiated, but has plenty of treats for long-time fans as well.
5.0 out of 5 stars We don't do the eye-contact thing. We've talked about it. Nov. 4 2009
By Andrew S. Rogers - Published on Amazon.com
I'd just read Achewood: The Great Outdoor Fight not long before, and so when I saw this book tagged "Achewood, Volume 2," I naturally assumed The GOF was "Volume 1" and this was next in some kind of sequence. Turns out it isn't. In fact, "Worst Song, Played on Ugliest Guitar" is the second in a series of Achewood compilations that has been available in somewhat different format on the webcomic's site for some time. As you'd expect from the second compilation in a series that's now up to Vol. IX at least, the strips here collected are pretty old. In fact, Chris Onstad, the writer and artist, describes some of these strips as "Before We Were Achewood -- The Early Experiments," adding, "I consider the introduction of Ray, Beef, and Pat the real ignition of the 'Achewood' engine (p. 94)."

Still, for me, what makes "Worst Song..." a great book isn't so much the cartoons as the additional material Onstad has packed this book with. As the dialogue and story arc of "The GOF" demonstrated (at least to me), Onstad's great strength is as a writer. The stories-slash-profiles of the early Achewood characters are very well-written in a slangy, hard-boiled sort of way, revealing, and darn entertaining. So too the commentary on individual strips, of which there's quite a bit. Tell me there's more of that in the other viii volumes, and I'll put them on my wish list too.

Since this isn't one sustained story, "Worst Song..." was, for me, slightly less awesome than "The Great Outdoor Fight." But the writing, even more than the cartoons, still makes this pretty awesome in its own way.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Momentary Diversion on the Way to the Grave Oct. 30 2009
By Max Freeman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I once knew a kid named Walter. I remember him for a few reasons. The first was because he sold Neil and I out during a group school project, but that's another story.

The second reason was because he would have the most random outbursts in class, once even going so far to politely raise his hand before beginning a grim tale about a child who tore their own eyes out with their bare hands.

The final, and most significant reason is because he lost the tip of one of his fingers. If memory serves, it was the tip of his middle finger on his left hand. He just showed up at school one day and it was gone. He even opened the bandage up, to let us take a look at the meat and bone. He said it was caught in the chain of his bicycle, but I don't see how that's possible. I didn't press it though. It's just one of those mysteries.

What does Walter's missing finger have to do with Achewood? It's the same kind of story. Not the epic fantasies or meaningless comedies, but the small strange tales that we accumulate through our lives, revolving around the bizarre characters in our own personal histories.

I highly recommend this book, and I suggest you place it upon your shelf, between your hardcover copy of 'The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe' and the plastic skull you got at that garage sale for $2.

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