Reading Level: Adult
Size: 120 pages
Release Date: August 24, 2010
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the XKCD comic collections
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
I have long been a fan of the XKCD web comic. I actually bought this book for my husband (who is also a big fan) right when it came out. I just finally sat down the other day and read it. It’s a collection of Munroe’s favorite XKCD comics. I definitely enjoyed reading it.
In the forward Munroe says he picked his favorite comics to put together in this first book. All proceeds from the book go to charity so that is pretty cool. You can read most of these comics on the web for free. However, there are additional comments throughout written in red that are pretty darn funny. There are also encrypted messages and the novelty of owning a book that is page numbered in Base 3.
Many of the jokes have some basis in science/math/physics. I do love math and enjoyed some of those jokes. Some of the physics jokes are a bit esoteric and me and my husband would both stare at them and go “huh”. Others frames deal with general relationship things or popular culture.
While it does help to have some background in math/science to enjoy a lot of these jokes…there are still a lot of pages and jokes that are just generally funny. One of my favorites was the graph of intelligence versus distance to a cute kitty. Another favorite was the one where he blackmails a book lover by threatening the book of a spine (I am obviously a huge book geek, so this had me laughing pretty hard).
This is definitely an adults only book, there is quite a bit of adult subject matter throughout…and yes you do see stick people having sex many times throughout the book. While that’s not really all that graphic (I mean they are stick people), there are definitely some adult themes to the material.
I thought the beginning of this book was less funny than the later entries. Not sure why, but I laughed a lot more at the comics at the end of this collection than the beginning.
Overall I really enjoyed this collection. Munroe’s collection of “What If” is due out later this year and I will definitely be picking that up as well. These are more in depth but still very funny episodes where Munroe applies science to crazy “What If” questions. I would definitely recommend picking up XKCD, Volume 0 if you are fan of the web comic. If you are at all a fan of science, math, and humor you should at least check out the web comic….it’s pretty hilarious.