Thursday, November 18, 2010

Review: The Deranged Stalker's Journal of Pop Culture Shock Therapy by Doug Bratton

Call the cops, because Doug Bratton has another stalker - me!

The Deranged Stalker's Journal of Pop Culture Shock Therapy is like Diary of a Wimpy Kid for adults with a sense of humor *just* this side of wrong.

I usually read novels, so this unique twist to a compilation book of comics was new for me...and I loved every minute of it.
I am already a fan of Pop Culture Shock Therapy, Doug Bratton's daily syndicated cartoon.  Every day, I look forward to that little bit of funny in my InBox.  Still, I wasn't sure what to expect in this book.  I am in complete awe. Deranged Stalker is terrific! Not only are these the best of the best comics Doug Bratton has ever done, including some I am seeing for the first time, but the way they are grouped together is perfect!

You know what the flow of the book reminds me of? Did you ever see that movie with John Cusak, "High Fidelity"? (A movie based on the novel by Nick Hornby) At the very end he talks about the art of making a great mixed tape. (God, remember those? I'm so old.) My point is, this compilation is the perfect mixed tape of comics. It gives you a few good chuckles in the beginning to get you hooked, then eases off a bit, and then hits you with a belly laugh. Then, it lets you catch your breath before dealing you a guffaw. The COMMENTS are perfect.

A note about the stalker.  Only because my own husband was unsure, as he's not used to Doug's twisted sense of humor like I am, he didn't know that the opening comments are FICTION.  No need to worry about the author's family.  They're just fine.  The stalker, whom you can see in the Webisodes I posted here, here, here and here, is seriously demented.  The stalker is a little less creepy-scary and a lot more it's-so-wrong-it-has-to-be-hilarious, which is what Pop Culture Shock Therapy is all about!

My favorite page?  The Peter Pan/Tinkerbell comic and then the stalker's comment "Told Bob I don't think this comic is even possible." I can't breathe...laughing...too...hard! Brilliant! The comic was funny to begin with, but then it made me look back up at it and see it again in a completely new (and even funnier) way!   THAT is the genius of this book.  The artist took his best comics and made them even better. 

I only have two warnings for my readers.  The first:  This book is not for children.  My son saw SpongeBob Square Pants and Batman on the cover and immediately thought it was for him.  NO.  It's not.  The second:  This book is not for anyone without a sense of humor.  If you're offended by the idea of Sponge Bob No Pants strolling on the beach in Bikini Bottom, move on to Charles Shultz, you're too uptight for Doug Bratton.
If you're looking for a little extra laughter in your life this holiday season...look no further.  The Deranged Stalker's Journal does not need to be read in one sitting.  In fact, to pick it up and read a few pages at a time is perfect.

Synopsis (from Andrews McMeel):
Ah, what would popular culture be without characters such as Lindsay Lohan and Mel Gibson, along with the pop culture--centrific media that covers them? For starters, Doug Bratton's The Deranged Stalker's Journal of Pop Culture Shock Therapy might not exist, and, well, that would be very sad indeed. Inside The Deranged Stalker's Journal of Pop Culture Shock Therapy, Bratton skewers pop culture icons ranging from Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie to Harry Potter.

Fashioned as a mock-style journal whose author is just a little bit unstable, The Deranged Stalker's Journal of Pop Culture Shock Therapy lambastes the best--and worst--of popular culture, one cartoon panel at a time. From recent news headlines to celeb-inspired mockumentaries, Bratton offers a humorously skewed view of fame, popular culture, and American Idol-worship. So if you are one of the millions of people who often wonders what it would be like if a psychopath and his imaginary friend kept a journal of a funny-yet-obscure comic that will most likely never appear in your newspaper, this is certainly the book to read!

*Disclosure:  A review copy was provided by the publisher. 

Book Extras:

About the Book:
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing; Original edition (November 2, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0740799045
ISBN-13: 978-0740799044

About the Author:
Doug Bratton is a self-syndicated cartoonist and currently the New York Metro chapter head for the National Cartoonists Society. His comics have appeared in Nickelodeon Magazine, MAD Magazine, and in dozens of college papers and alternative newsweeklies throughout the United States. He lives in Rockaway, New Jersey.

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1 comment:

Florinda said...

Thanks for introducing me to this - I just signed up for the daily e-mail!

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