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American Elf: The Collected Sketchbook Diaries, Vol. 3
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American Elf: The Collected Sketchbook Diaries, Vol. 3 (American Elf #3)

4.28  ·  Rating Details ·  148 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Kochalka's diary strip has always been entertaining, but this might be the most action-packed volume of all. His neighbor's car gets firebombed, his little son Eli learns how to invent his own swears (like "pump duck"), and James gets a gun pointed at his face. Most dramatic of all, this volume introduces a new character - a new little baby Kochalka This collection prints ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published December 9th 2008 by Top Shelf Productions (first published 2006)
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Sam Quixote
Apr 15, 2012 Sam Quixote rated it it was amazing
Book 3 of James Kochalka's life's work American Elf picks up where he left off from the second book beginning with January 1 2006 to 31 December 2007. The idea for these strips is simple: draw a strip every day. These range from 1 panel to 4 and have been in colour now for the last few years.

In this book James and Amy, their son Eli and their cat Spandy expand their family with the addition of Oliver Jonco Kochalka, James' druggy neighbours' car gets firebombed, James acts in a feature film, he
Jun 26, 2011 Spencer rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
James Kochalka lives a charmed life where nothing really bad ever seems to happen. His is sort of a Family Circus for the indie crowd. All the girls want him. All the boys want to be him. He makes art that looks effortless. (I can literally make effortless drawings!) He sings in a fun band. (I can imagine myself yelling stuff!) He has a sexy sassy wife (Me too!) And a kids say the darndest things 3 yr old (I got one of those!) He stays at home all day, and provides amply for his family by doing ...more
Dec 13, 2008 Paul rated it really liked it
This volume just as lovely as the first two. Was surprised to see that it was in color, though. Not sure it justified the added expense, from a publishing standpoint. Still, they were even more lovely, this way.

I felt bad about the Kochalka family's "neighbor" troubles. I've had a meth dealer for a neighbor, so I have empathy. Never had any cars firebombed though. How charming!

Sometimes I worry that Jame's fat mouth will get him into trouble, but he seems to get in the face of people who deserv
William Clemens
Sep 26, 2012 William Clemens rated it it was amazing
I read these as fast as I possibly could as they had become well overdue, but that didn't stop me from enjoying them.

James Kochalka has really developed a gift for finding the magic moments of his day and making them relatable. I think these probably benefit from being in book form and being read in succession as you get a better picture of his life and his family, and it makes the 'what should I draw today?' comics feel more thought out than if you just encounter one on a page of print or on th
Mar 24, 2009 Caleb rated it it was amazing
I kept meaning to review this somewhere, but never did, so I don't have a link to anything formal.

Here's a link to James Kochalka's site though, where his strip runs daily-ish:

It's Kochalka's diary strip, where he produces about four panels about a significant anecdote from each day. In addition to being a cartoonist and children's book author, Kochalka is also in a semi-professional band and has had two little boys since starting the strip, so it's become something of a
Sep 08, 2010 Beth rated it liked it
Amusing if uneven cartoon narrative of the real, quirky life of cartoonist/graphic novelist/rock musician James Kochalka. A lot about marriage and raising a young child in here. Some of the humor is bathroom humor and not appealing to me (or, I suspect, many adults) and some of the panels are in poor taste and/or dark humor (some of which I like, some I don't). The majority, though, is amusing and many panels are insightful or thought-provoking (as well as simply provoking!). Good read-alike for ...more
Mar 24, 2009 Richard rated it liked it
American Elf is James Kochalka's daily diary comic. It has pretty much become "Kochalka's Kid Says the Darndest Things." Kochalka is pretty annoying in large doses, so it is best not to read these all at once. Still he is often funny and his huge level of creative output is impressive and inspiring.
Apr 30, 2009 Kirk rated it liked it
Reading American Elf makes me want to get married and start a family...almost. The percentage of Spandy-related comics has declined since he had Eli and Oliver, but still they're filled with honest and fresh reflections on life, with an appreciation of simple things that I can relate to.
Apr 23, 2009 Ru rated it it was amazing
i believe that it is a grand testament to kochalka's general wonderfulness that i go out and buy books of his comics to which i have access to completely free on line.

american elf is one of those comics our entire family loves to read.
Wes Young
Aug 13, 2012 Wes Young rated it liked it
This third volume in the continuing Kolchalka diary is often too cutesy for its own good, but overall a solid read (especially for those who dislike "short-run" comics).
Jun 28, 2011 Jen added it
Shelves: graphic-novels, 2011
Family Circus for hipsters, except it can be crass or vulgar. The panels I like, though, I really like.
Oct 23, 2011 Valerie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, 2011
Jul 07, 2012 Twan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
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James Kochalka is an American comic book artist and writer, and rock musician. His comics are noted for their blending of the real and the surreal. Largely autobiographical, Kochalka's cartoon expression of the world around him includes such real-life characters as his wife, children, cat, friends and colleagues, but always filtered through his own observations and flights of whimsy. In March 2011 ...more
More about James Kochalka...

Other Books in the Series

American Elf (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • American Elf: The Collected Sketchbook Diaries, Vol. 1
  • American Elf: The Collected Sketchbook Diaries, Vol. 2
  • American Elf: The Collected Sketchbook Diaries, Vol. 4
  • American Elf 1999
  • American Elf 2000
  • American Elf 2001
  • American Elf 2002
  • American Elf 2003
  • American Elf 2004
  • American Elf 2005

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