By Dustin Cabeal
Instantly from the cover, I was intrigued by this book; it would be short lived once I dived into it. It is essentially a collection of webcomics from creator Rosemary Mosco; some of which I had read on my various journeys on the internet.
What I instantly realized was that the size of the book was much too small for Mosco’s work. There were numerous times in which I felt like an old person refusing to put on their glasses to read something, but the problem was A) I did have glasses on and B) much like when an old person finally caves and puts them on, they discover that it wasn’t worth the effort. There are also times in which you’ll need to turn the book and a page sideways… why they didn’t go with a two-page spread or even skip the page altogether will remain a mystery to me. I found that every time I turned the book to read a page like that, it was not only humorless but also really annoying as it broke up my rhythm of reading. The size and layout of this book does the material no favors. It makes it awkward and difficult to enjoy.
There are a good handful of gags and jokes that were enjoyable. Even a couple that was downright funny. There’s a rhythm to a lot of them in which a typical gag is set up, but then it’s twist is the hyperdetailed facts of a particular animal being explained to counter the gag or set up the punchline. For instance, one is about two lizardy looking animals (also it’s perhaps the only two-page spread that isn’t set up like shit) professing their feelings and deciding what to do next. One of them then explains their complex and mating which is then poo-pooed for scrabble. The problem is, there are a lot of jokes like this, and after a while, you get a bit numb to it.
Then there are the jokes that really weren’t funny. They seemed like good first attempts, but even fully understanding them didn’t give me a chuckle. I attempted to approach it as if it weren’t meant to be awkward and off-putting and that it was Mosco’s goal to make me feel that way, but if that was the desired outcome, it too failed. Halfway through it became more of a mission to finish the book than to enjoy it. After reading so many pages with a blank look on my face, it seemed best to let the book try and surprise me rather than actively look for enjoyment.
Maybe I’m not enough of a nerd to get the jokes. Maybe I don’t watch enough nature programming and so repetitive jokes about the seemingly gross things that animals do to survive and continue their species is completely lost on me. I don’t think it is because I saw so many flickers of potential while reading. It just needed something more. Then again, maybe if the book were a proper size, it wouldn’t be so difficult to read, and that could likely change the entire reading experience. Who knows because I can only review what’s in front of me and while it's professional looking and well-illustrated, it’s not enjoyable and difficult to read.
Birding Is My Favorite Video Game
Andrews McMeel Publishing