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Funny Books - Striking Close To Home - John McPherson

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Striking Close To Home
John McPherson
Andrews McMeel 2006

You've reviewed one Close to Home book by John McPherson and you've reviewed all the Close to Home books by John McPherson? Not always. I do not mean he is repetitive, absolutely not, but in the end a funny gag in one panel is a funny gag in one panel. Each Close to Home book, including Striking Close To Home is a one panel office gag, hospital gag, job-related gag, weird neighbor gag, and so on. You can perhaps compare Close to Home to the extinct Far Side and discuss the similarities and compare it to Bizarro by Piraro (another panel gag comic) and note Close to Home has captions underneath while Piraro rambles on a bit in the panel itself. But that's about it.

An art student could certainly do a long scholarly thesis on the pencil stroke in Far Side, Close to Home, Bizarro and it would be boring. Unlike Trudeau's Doonesbury, Close to Home et al are timeless so you couldn't to a PhD thesis on history as seen through the Sunday funnies. So you're stuck saying Close to Home is a really cool one panel gag cartoon and each of the books is really interesting. You can say the reason someone would buy a Close to Home collection is that from time to time you can sit down and go through it and find something new about a panel or something funny once but not the next time or vice versa.

But sometimes, an anthology of one-panel gag cartoons is a little different. You can sometimes see a trend that was not there before. Such is the case for Striking Close to Home. For some reason, there is a much greater percentage of one panel gag illustrations relating to babies, very young kids, and maternity in general. But if you hate kids, do not worry, you will still find gags about crossword puzzle freaks, gags about animals taking over the world (no cows though, must be a Larson preserve or something), gags about people at work and at school and so on.

The important thing to know is Close to Home collections are dependable for funny gags though not different from one another. Close to Home is sort of the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese of the comic world: comfort read.



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