Howard Taylor has written the Schlock Mercenary web comic for the last 16 years. He never ceases to amaze me at his ability to write a comic each day and not write himself into a corner. This book is a compilation of part of his web comic. I could have read his comic daily for a few months and read the same story, but I am not organized enough to remember to go back each day to look at it. Plus I think the comic looks pretty amazing on the glossy pages. You can admire the art on the page better than on the screen, I think. I’m happy with my purchase of the book.
Schlock Mercenary: Under New Management
By Howard Taylor
Genre: Web Comic
The comic is witty and brilliant. I mean literally brilliant. This is not for the light science geek, well it could be but you’d miss a lot of the jokes. When I read this I dredged up memories of science that I haven’t thought about for a while, like red shift and blue shift from 8th grade science class. Sometimes I wasn’t sure if Taylor was making stuff up, or if I wasn’t knowledgeable enough about certain science terms. If you are a science geek, you will go nuts over this. If you like things blowing up on the page, you will like this too. There is plenty of that. I laughed out loud numerous times. As I think about it, this book really has every kind of humor possible. There is a little innuendo at the beginning but it is fairly subtle, so young readers will miss it completely. There is some potty humor, irony, self-depricating humor, sarcasm, slap-stick, deadpan humor, seriously all kinds of humor.
The writing/ science level is higher than an average 11 year old is able to read. However, I’ve known some 11 year old kids with more science knowledge than I will ever have. I am a geek, in case you don’t know, therefore I love science. I supported some of my ESL students in their science class in a couple years ago. So I have a fair amount of middle grade science knowledge in my head, though I am by no means an expert. Although this is a comic, it may not appeal to kids who are reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid because of the science. It does contain just about every kind of humor there is though so you never know, some might and may pick up a little science along the way.
Reading this was a new experience for me. The rhythm of the writing was halting because it is a daily comic. It feels different from a graphic novel, because of that. It was nice that I could put it down and pick it up easily because of all the natural breaks in it. This pacing would align with the short attention span that some kids have today.
Foul Language: None
Violence: Nothing graphic
Sexual Content: Only subtle inuendo
Substance Abuse: None
Overall Rating: G
Humor: All sorts of wonderful geeky humor!