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REVIEW: Sluggy Freelance Book 6: The Bug, the Witch and the Robot.


When I first started reading Sluggy Freelance, I thought that it was not my cup of tea at all.

Firstly, it must be said that Sluggy Freelance is an online comic that has been converted to paper by Plan Nine Publishing, a company specialising in this type of output, and that the comic book I have been reading is number six. This means that I haven't seen the start of the storyline, and as it very much seems to fall back on previous events it can be misleading to start in the middle.

According to the Sluggy Freelance website (the URL is provided in the comic book) the aim is to provide an alternative to traditional newspaper comic strips. This includes breaking with the non-serial comic tradition as well as involving multiple story threads.

On the website, the Sunday strip is in colour, while the comic book is completely in black-and-white, but this does not change the general impression.

At first, it was all but impossible to get an idea of what was going on with the characters, or even knowing who they are. As the comic book is based on previous editions no specific introductions are made. I would very much recommend any reader to start from the beginning.

Once I had achieved some familiarity with the characters and the previous events the comic did show its bright sides.

I approve of the complicated storyline because I too have sometimes grown tired of the repetitive jokes of traditional newspaper comics. Liking comics, however, I can still not stop myself from reading them.

How to classify this comic? The characters seem inspired by Japanese comic art, perhaps the females more than the males, while the storylines seem to be some sort of real-world mixed with fantasy/horror. Perhaps postmodern would serve as a title, although it is not always good to put specific headlines on things.

All in all, I have mixed feelings because of my love of the more traditional comic style. This should not, however, deter anyone from having a go at reading this - Sluggy Freelance certainly deserves a chance.

CONCLUSION: Start from the beginning with this comic as the storyline keeps evolving and falls back on previous events. Worth a look if you enjoy comics.

Title: Sluggy Freelance Book 6: The Bug, the Witch and the Robot Author: Pete Abrams Published by: Plan Nine Publishing ISBN: 1-929462-39-9 Price: USD12.95 Reviewer: Ann Sundqvist
COPYRIGHT 2002 Normans Media Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:M2 Best Books
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Feb 7, 2002
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