Let's start this review out the right way -- by pretentiously reminding you that I, at one time, had a webcomic, and can therefore refer to myself as "a web cartoonist."
As a web cartoonist, I find myself to be a big fan of comic strips in general, and web comic strips more specifically, because I was a web cartoonist with a web comic, web. My list of favorite web arts is lengthy, but there is one that holds a special place in my heart, and that's Adam Koford's "Hobotopia." I was first introduced to these hobo LOL cats through the comic you see displayed above, which was forwarded to me by occasional Geektress contributer Golfwidow.
When asked to review the book "The LOLCats Sell Out", it was with this in mind: it's probably just a collection of comics I've already seen, know, and love; gimme gimme free stuff. So, as you can guess, my thoughts on the project are biased. If I didn't already like the comic (and I do,) I probably would've liked it anyway due to its freeness. That didn't stop me from doing some thorough research in to the matter. (Or, reading the press release. It all depends on how you define "thorough research.") (I define it as "reading stuff people send me.")
Review and statistical analysis after the jump.
In true "Family Feud" style, I surveyed 100 random people, or possibly 100 people I work with, or maybe just 10 people I work with, but actually my husband, to come up with this graphic representation of responses upon first viewing "LOLcats Sell Out":
I did not know that the true origin of the LOL[hobo]Cats was from John Hodgman's "700 Hoboes" project. I knew of the project, and I knew of Hobotopia, but somehow the two being linked never occurred to me until this press release telling me that it was so. Indeed, Mr. Hodgman, author of the books "The Areas of My Expertise" (which I own) and "More Information Than You Require" (which I don't -- possible quiz later), who has a vested interest in hoboes and hobotainment, writes the forward for The LOLCats Sell Out, and it doesn't disappoint. Excerpt:
If you are not familiar with it, the LOLcat is a popular Internet trend that involves taking pictures of actual live cats at the precise moment they are talking. It's a challenging hobby, requiring considerable skill and patience, and also a computer.
Koford has made up a fake great-grandfather (though, one would assume he also has a real great-grandfather, or else that means he's a killer robot sent back from the future and is actually plotting your death as we speak) named Aloysius "Gorilla" Koford, the "actual" artist behind the LOLcat phenomenon. He asserts that the cartoon dates back almost 100 years to the time of Taft and syphilis. Of course we all know that Theodore Roosevelt conquered both during a three week horseback ride through the Mohave Desert in 1912*, but what does that have to do with cats? Cats who are hoboes?
The answer is: nothing. Because this book is terrific, with or without fake historical facts. It's 160 pages of comics much like the one at the top of this post. In fact, "Neil Before Zod" is reprinted in full black-and-white glory on page 77. If you don't believe me, buy the book and see for yourself. (But don't email me with your apology. Just quietly agree that you were wrong.)
It's hard cover, too. Which means it's actually cheaper than the Lanarama collection (which was $14 and 64 pages, available for purchase at Lulu.com), and of better quality. (By the way, I was a web cartoonist, web.) But don't let its superior content and production values sway you from purchasing it (unless you're going to buy my book instead, and then: gimme gimme.)
In conclusion: WIN.
*Actually rode a giant lizard named "Sambo."