Penny Arcade 6: The Halls Below Paperback – Jul 20 2010
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About the Author
JERRY HOLKINS is the writer of the webcomic Penny Arcade. Holkins also writes the majority of the news posts or rants that accompany each comic. His other exploits include being a lead singer/guitarist in a band called The Fine Print, whose works are freely available over the internet. In the webcomic, his alter ego is known as Tycho Brahe. Holkins lives in the Seattle, Washington area.
Mike Krahulik is the artist for the webcomic Penny Arcade. Krahulik credits cartoonist Stephen Silver as a major influence on his drawing style, which has continued to evolve since he began drawing Penny Arcade in 1998. He also provided the illustrations for the cover of the book Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi, and artwork for the Daily Victim, a regular feature that used to run on GameSpy.com. In the webcomic, his alter ego is Jonathan Gabriel, or simply Gabe. Krahulik lives in the Seattle, Washington area.
Top Customer Reviews
I've read all the webcomics since the beginning and I've been following them since 2001 and even though I've seen these strips, the book feels new and fresh. Jerry Holkins' commentary adds a lot to old favorites. The bonus art from Mike Krahulik
For the price, you can't beat this purchase.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Until now, I never really gave too much thought to the books themselves; they're just typical comic paperbacks. But now that they've changed publishers, the drop in quality is instantly noticeable. The paper stock is lighter/cheaper than previous volumes, particularly the cover. Volumes 1-5 all had printed inner covers, they were covered by gray-scale patterns in keeping with the theme of each volume (e.g. the inner cover of Birds Are Weird was printed with a pattern of pigeons.) I never even noticed that before, but I notice now that I'm looking at vol. 6, which has blank white inner covers. They've used a weird new font for the titles of the strips, which is mildly annoying. In previous volumes, Holkins' commentary for each strip was always, ALWAYS directly beneath the strip he was commenting on. In this volume, sometimes the page layouts are such that there's no room for the commentary below, so they put it on the opposite page instead; seems kinda sloppy. (Though the commentary is as fun to read as ever, usually... a few of them do seem a bit "phoned in".) Moreover, vols. 1-5 all shared a common graphic design philosophy whereby at a glance it was obvious that they all belonged to the same series. Vol. 6 has a completely new design style, so if you put them all on the shelf together, suddenly there's an odd man out. Mildly annoying.
To sum up: Great comics, great commentary, mildly annoying drop in production quality, series consistency has been chucked out the window. On the bright side, at least now I have a new appreciation for how well vols. 1-5 were put together.
They're so blurry they're often hard to read. I could print better versions of them from their site with my Ink Jet Printer.
Also where volume 1-5 are printed pristine, and each comic has thoughtful, modern, commentary on it, this one often has either ramblings nothing to do with the comics, or Jerry explains that he has no idea what was going on here, its like they got lazy.
I am *very* disappointed with this. The other books were an awesome part of my collection. This one soils the series.
I LOVE Penny Arcade, and I wanted and expected the beautiful versions I got from Volumes 1-5, but this is bad, really bad.
This is the exact opposite of that. Thin paper, blurry prints, Lazy commentary.
2005 was a good year for PA comics, but do yourself a favour, read them online, this collection really isnt worth paying out for.
Its obvious someones saved a bundle choosing to print these at sub par quality, but we as the consumer arent seeing any of these savings.
Dont bother with this collection, the only good factor is the rather classy front cover.
1) Penny Arcade is available for free online;
2) The book doesn't feel very sturdy, compared to the previous prints it is quite floppy.
The strips are highly topical and generally require at least SOME awareness of what is going on in the games industry, often times quite a bit of awareness. The humor is not for everyone and if you aren't a gamer, this isn't for you anyway.
So, if you like Penny Arcade enough to have a hardcopy and can live with the paper being floppy odds are you've already clicked "add to cart". If you're sitting on the fence, read the strips online.
Two of the other reviews (as I write this) mentioned poor print quality and I'm not sure there wasn't just a bad run. My copy is fine.
The make up of the book is the standard: strips + explanation/commentary, plus some extra content (which I haven't yet read), so much like a DVD: what you're buying and bits to set it apart from the free to air (or cinema) experience. The commentaries rekindle memories for me and I don't feel they are a core of the experience, though other reviewers are complaining ... I honestly don't understand the upset here. They didn't feel different to previous iterations.
I don't think the floppy feel of the book (three mentions, must be an issue?) is something I would ding the score on normally, but it does make the product feel cheap... not fragile so much as ... not holding anything in your hand ... but this is obviously subjective. Judging by the other reviews though, this is an issue to many people ...
One bonus point about this book is that it contains my all time favorite strip: [...]
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