Books : reviews

Stephen Notley.
In Defence of Fascism.
LeftOver Books. 1997

rating : 4 : passes the time
review : 15 November 2009

This is the first of the BtAF collections, and Bob (or Notley) isn't quite whacked enough here to be as funny as he is later. So it's amusing, but without that seriously mindbending surrealism to come.

Stephen Notley.
Everybody vs. Bob the Angry Flower.
LeftOver Books. 2001

rating : 3.5 : worth reading
review : 26 October 2008

I intermittently read BtAF on the Web, but the books allow a more solid dose of the shear surrealism in one go. Weird stuff as the psychopathic Bob gets upset when his new weapons of mass destruction are outlawed in Canada, when his various plans for world domination are thwarted, when his various plans for world domination succeed, and when he can't find a date. Ponder over the strips where the plots go self-referentially awry, or where they just go awry, or where they don't even exist. And have fun with the colourful multi-page central strip with Everybody versus Bob.

Stephen Notley.
The Ultimate Book of Perfect Energy.
LeftOver Books. 2003

rating : 3.5 : worth reading
review : 10 January 2009

A reasonably-priced Amazon 2nd hand copy briefly pops up, I 1-Click in time, and so experience a further outing with Bob the Totally Psychotic Flower. We have Bob taking Kofi Annan on a roller coaster ride, Dubya being hit by a Brain Beam, the making of LoveBot, meta-level self-referentiality, loop quantum gravity, and more. With added punctuation-oriented diatribes on the use of apostrophes (should I write "apostrophe's"? hmm. maybe not) and quotation marks. All in the usual nut-job style: a mixture of huh?, oh, and rofl!

Stephen Notley.
Bob the Angry Flower: Dog Killer.
Tachyon. 2006

rating : 3 : worth reading
review : 26 August 2006

This Notley guy is seriously whacked.

I first came across Bob the Angry Flower by way of that famous apostrophe cartoon, which was doing the email rounds a while ago. I didn't at the time realise Bob was a strip. But very recently I discovered Bob's site, and that there were books. This latest one is the only one available through Amazon (UK), and then only "second hand". Just 1-Click away...

It's a curious feeling, reading this. Each individual cartoon is either weird, or ho hum, or something. And there's very little continuity. But the overall cumulative effect is mindbending. And the central 28pp colour PURE ACTION spread is Calvin and Hobbes with attitude.