Writer/Artist: Alan Henderson
Release Date: On sale now!
You know, puns about German sausages are the wurst.
So, In case you’ve missed either of our preview reviews, allow me to fill you in. The Penned Guin is a webcomic from Edinburgh-based Alan Henderson, and features a variety of crudely drawn penguins delivering a series of jokes, puns and visual gags. There’s no story, no narrative, just a wonderful succession of cheesy one-liners and visual comedy, released in handy 100-page volumes.
The strips adhere for the most part to the tried-and-tested three panel ‘newspaper’ format, although Alan occasionally deviates from that approach, with impressive results. The strips are also grouped into loose ‘themes’, where there may be a dozen or so set in the same rough locale, such as an art gallery, a circus, a doctor’s surgery – heck, we even get a Penned Guin wedding here.
As with the other volumes that we have reviewed, Henderson’s style is a relentless machine gun of gags and puns, with a decidedly hit and miss approach that is overcome by the rapid fire delivery. Don’t like a particular joke? Well, have no fear, because there’s another half-dozen coming in just a second, and chances are you’ll find something to tickle your funny bone sooner rather than later.
I’m a sucker for a good ‘cracker joke’ myself, so this volume – as with the previous ones – is lot more hit than miss for me. As always, Henderson’s sense of humour ranges from the simple to the cerebral (I particularly loved the Poe pun about asking Raven how to boil an egg), and we’re even treated a special guest sing-a-long to celebrate the 500th Penned Guin strip.
Okay, so the style and format isn’t necessarily going to appeal to everyone, but this is a great ‘pick up and read’ collection that you can flick through a few pages of at your leisure. The term ‘toilet book’ doesn’t necessarily have great connotations, but… well… you get the idea.
For me, I absolutely love the simplicity of the artwork and the relentless enthusiasm of the humour, and while there are always a fair share of eye-rolls and groans to be had along the way, this latest volume also has some of the best strips of the entire series so far. Well worth a look.
Copies of the The Penned Guin: We Waddlers (as well as the previous four volumes in the series) are available from the Penned Guin Bigcartel Store for £7 (or for £10 with the Penguin Movie Poster print set)
You can also check out the regularly updated ‘Penned Guin’ strips on their official Tumblr.