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Fleen Book Corner: TRI

From the depths of Bulgaria (where one is reminded that vampires are biting danger!) to musings over the Forces Sweetheart, things are never quite right for the residents of Tackleford Metropolitan Borough. That, naturally, is why right-thinking folk love Scary Go Round so damn much, and why they should all be perusing John Allison’s fourth collection of SGR strips, The Retribution Index.

Some things you should note as you peruse:

  • This book features Allison switching back and forth from his Illustrator mode to his hand-drawn mode; both are beautiful to behold.
  • Reading SGR in large doses reminds one that Allison never forgets anything; note the nunnery that is suggested to Amy, which rather than merely being a throwaway gag, becomes a plot point more than a year later.
  • This book does not include the story “Oldbourne”, which starts in the archives here; this is a great shame because “Oldbourne” featured my favoritest SGR moment of all time: I trod on Lego! The expressions on Shelley in this strip are a marvel and make me smile every time I think of them; I only hope there are enough smiles left for me in the rest of the book.
  • Don’t worry, there are actually plenty of smiles! Especially considering this book covers a period of time when Esther was becoming a more prominent character. Esther’s growth from walk-on extra to mysterious background player to full cast member has been wonderful to behold.
  • This book also does not include Allison’s year-end music reviews, or a two-week guest stint that featured some beauteous work; however, this allows plotlines to resolve more quickly, so that’s all right.
  • There are some odd printing artifacts on certain pages, where blacks are not entirely opaque. This is actually pretty interesting, as it allows the reader a peek behind the scenes to see what the character models look like in all their layers.
  • Finally, as an extra-special bonus, each chapter is introduced and commented upon by Shelley Winters, who is a small friend to all of us. There are trials and tribulations for Shelley in the book, but all is well in the end.

To summarize, this is a pretty wonderful book, and I think that you would enjoy it very much! So please be certain to purchase and read TRI at the first opportunity, and watch out for devil bears.

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