Written by: Brian Cronin
Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? And Other Amazing Comic Book Trivia is a new book from Brian Cronin (creator of the blog Comics Should Be Good) where he makes use of various lists to extol various bits of random comic book trivia. Some of these are by him, others are created from polls at the site Comic Book Resources (such as “Best Marvel Characters”), and then other lists are by comic creators, writers, illustrators, and more involved in the industry and love of comics. Some of these additional list makers include legends like Mark Millar, Dave Gibbons, and Geoff Johns.
I really enjoyed this book. I picked it up to start reading late one night, with the intent of just reading a couple of the first lists but soon I found that I’d been reading for a while and was about 3/4 through the book. It’s pretty engrossing like that.
The book is broken into six parts: Comic Book Characters, Writers And Artists, Storylines, Beyond The Panels, Comics And Culture, and Movies and TV Shows. I particularly found “Beyond The Panels” and “Comics and Culture” to be really interesting.
If you have even a passing interest in comic books you’ll enjoy this book. What I really liked, beyond the deep digging to bring some truly odd facts out, is that the book is filled with illustrations (in black & white) showing the panels being discussed and also that a lot of the lists aren’t just quick lists of things, but long explanations of why they’re on the list and in some cases personal stories from the list makers relating to them. Everyone involved in Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? is clearly a comic book devotee and truly cares for the medium and you really can feel that throughout.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys comics, even if they’re only an occasional reader. There’s a lot of fun stuff here and it’s a really engrossing book. It’s out now.
Our Valued Customers
Our Valued Customers: Conversations from the Comic Book Store is another book that comic book lovers will love. It’s a short book so I’m including a quick review of it here as it goes along with Shark Repellent extremely well. It’s from Tim Chamberlain, also known as MRTIM, a cartoonist that has been doing this strip online for a while now. Each page is a real life quote from a customer about something that he overheard while working at a comic book store and is illustrated with a drawing that goes with it. In Our Valued Customers he collects 89 of these strips. Each one is hilarious and a glimpse into the mind of some really out there consumers. I like that Chamberlain says in the introduction that this isn’t the typical customer, this is just a select group of weirdos or just great quotes. The best analog to this book is the scene in the movie Clerks where they’re talking about stupid customers in the video store and Quick Stop. If you like that scene, you’ll love this book. Comic fans, and all around pop culture fans will love this too. I recommend picking it up for that fan in your life.
Our Valued Customers doesn’t come out until July 3rd but you can pre-order it right now!