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Moment of HonestyThis week: The Necronomicon!
Welcome back! I still don't have pictures in my reviews, but here's more text! Woohoo!

This week, I review The Necronomicon, by Chris "Frodo" Furniss.

Trying to describe The Necronomicon is as difficult as convincing somebody to listen to a certain kind of music; unless that person is already into it, they probably won't be that swayed by the description.

I checked out The Necronomicon through a link on BoxJam's Doodle. I immediately noticed the quality of the site design. Now, bear in mind that my definition of quality site design has nothing to do with any mad coding skillz or interactivity; rollovers and all that are nice, and so is tight code, but I just look at the aesthetics. Chris Furniss provides a site that I enjoy viewing. Everything from font choice to color selection fuses together into an eclectic yet somehow coherent vibe.

Then I started reading the comic. To be honest, I don't know what got me past the first few. I suppose, at the time, I was in such awe of BoxJam that I couldn't imagine him steering me wrong. (Now that I know he reads Funky Winkerbean, I'm starting to hedge my bets.) At first, I didn't get The Necronomicon; the characters were odd, the gags were unusual, and the plotlines were rather stream-of-consciousness.

And yet, somehow, I found myself returning day after day, hoping something new was there. I liked the idea of the strip; as Calvin and Hobbes were named after thinkers, Chris carried the idea to an absurd extreme. He has a talking bowling pin named Buber, a stick figure named Phil (for Phil-osopher), and a small critter that I think is a hedgehog named Sock (for Sock-rates). When you realize that for all intents and purposes this stogie-chomping rodent is considered a sock, the whole point of The Necronomicon starts to dawn on you.

It's absurd. It's Monty Python meets Pee-Wee's Playhouse with a dash of Ionesco. It's my source for great lines like "Either you stop talking, and we get along great, or you continue, and I hang you by your toenails and beat you senseless with a novelty-sized tack hammer." (This line is posted in my cubicle at work. Honest.)

Imagine that you're in charge of putting on a television show, and one of the props you must have is a coffeepot. You can't find a coffeepot, so in its place you put a cat. A live, purring-or-hissing, mouse-chasing cat. It's a completely preposterous situation -- and one that you'd be likely to find in The Necronomicon. This is NOT an idea Chris has used, of course; it's just an example of the oddity that makes this strip so likeable. It somehow feels full of energy; I can easily imagine Chris Furniss as one of the most caffeinated people on earth.

This is one of those comics that defies description. I'm forced to say the old standby: You have to see it for yourself. And I really hope you do. While you're there, check out the merchandise. (I really hope Chris has all his old merchandise still available -- I haven't checked since he joined Keenspace, I'm ashamed to admit.) Some of it is even funnier than the comic... which is, indeed, funny.

Monday, May 14: Schlock Mercenary
Monday, May 21: BoxJam's Doodle
Monday, June 4: Randym Thoughts
Monday, June 11: Todd and Penguin
Monday, June 18: Joe the Circle
Monday, June 25: Space Losers
Monday, July 9: Sluggy Freelance
Monday, July 30: Spare Change

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