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The Perry Bible Fellowship Almanack

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Rare book

256 pages, Hardcover

First published March 14, 2007

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Nicholas Gurewitch

8 books67 followers

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5 stars
1,185 (59%)
4 stars
559 (28%)
3 stars
183 (9%)
2 stars
34 (1%)
1 star
20 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 144 reviews
Profile Image for karen.
3,978 reviews170k followers
April 20, 2009
boo because a lot of them are duplicates from the other book, but yay for the new ones (new to me anyway.) this is somewhere between "cathy" and the "tijuana bibles" on the scale of funny vs. offensive.(although cathy is offensive in her own way) and there are still one or two i dont even understand. but they are truly sick and funny and deeply sad at times. and thats what makes me laugh.
Profile Image for Sam Quixote.
4,482 reviews12.8k followers
August 2, 2015
Real life Mario and Luigi – Mario drowns in a pipe. A maths problem on a blackboard in a university, like in Good Will Hunting – the janitor writes “boobs” as the answer. A kid looks at a magic eye book and spots the illusion – everybody else sees the kid holding thin air.

Welcome to the world of The Perry Bible Fellowship (no clue why it’s called that)!

Nicholas Gurewitch’s strips are like most dailies, three to five panels long, though his tend to be more surreal and dark – but still funny!

Dice-headed soldiers fight domino-headed soldiers. The dice general says to aim at the soldier on the left, then all the domino soldiers fall. Some kids build a time machine with a cardboard box – and it works, sending them back to the Jurassic period where they’re eaten by a T-rex. A kid wishes his grandpa was still alive then checks his old rocking chair to see if the wish came true – it did but grandpa’s in his coffin six feet under in the graveyard: “Hello? Anyone there?”.

Gurewitch is a master of the format, producing some brilliant gags that tend to be more clever than laugh-out-loud. Like an astronaut gets sucked into a vortex and crashes his ship into his helmet – the visual shows him looking at his helmet where a miniature version of himself is looking at a miniature version of himself crashed on the helmet!

There’s nothing too explicit but the subject matter is generally quite adult. There are a number of sex jokes and quite a bit of violence too. The Adventures of the Man with No Penis has him look at an attractive woman walk by, pull out a gun and shoot himself in the head.

Gurewitch is also a very talented artist, producing the strips in alternately different styles. Some are in colour, some in black and white, some are painted, some in pencils. He’s also able to mimic famous artists like Quentin Blake, Shel Silverstein, and Edward Gorey. The Unforgiving Tree is a pretty fun strip and his Gorey is spot on.

Though I laughed here and there, the format can be a bit tiresome to read in a collection. The beats are usually always the same with one panel setting it up, one panel doing something, final panel punchline. No matter the content, predictability inevitably sets in.

Had this been my first time reading it, I’d probably rate it higher but this being my second read, it wasn’t as great this time round – I knew what to expect so it wasn’t as surprising. Still, it’s rare to read actually funny comics and it’s a good book to dip in and out of. It’s worth a look and it’s range of subjects means there’s bound to be something to your liking whatever your humour.
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.3k followers
December 19, 2015
My first experience with Gurewitch and it was a pleasant surprise! Very funny strips, one to a page, which is nice so you can breathe a little bit while reading them. And I found I needed to breathe, because several times I was laughing aloud. He started this strip for his college newspaper, and then continued it for a few more years, so this is several years of strips. I would say a cut above most strips for gags, with some hilariously offensive humor thrown in there.Not really that offensive, though, just lightly sophomoric. And a very good artist, too! Recommended if you need a laugh.

I have no idea why the book is called The Perry Bible Fellowship Almanack, but I imagined it was a title a young man's mother might approve of his reading, The Good Boy she thinks he is. .. . "Yes, mom, the librarian gave it to me to help me better understand my reading of the Bible!" "Oh, that's nice, son. .."
Profile Image for Althea J..
361 reviews25 followers
June 20, 2015
This was waiting for me at the library amongst a pile of books that had come in from my hold list. I had totally forgotten about it, but when I was looking around at various recommendations of webcomics for the Panels challenge I must've added this one to the list. I think it's the title that got me curious.

I knew nothing going in and was surprised to find so much funny in these 3-4 panel strips. There were a handful I did not get, but for the most part I was laughing out loud and really enjoying this book. Lots of visual jokes. Lots of dark humor (which I frickin love). There was definitely some "lockerroom" humor (is that the term for humor that references ? there's got to be a better term that's just not coming to mind) so I wouldn't give this book to the kids, but it's nothing graphic and in the context of the strip I found most of it really funny.

Seeing Gurewitch's artistry progress over the course of the book kept it really interesting. He experimented with many different styles, even paying stylistic homage to other cartoonists.

This was a fun book and I definitely recommend it for a laugh. I'm putting a bunch of examples under a spoiler, so you can get a taste and see if it's your cup of tea. These are all taken with my camera-phone and I've yet to master the art of capturing a page, so my apologies. You might want to see his work online anyway, as I believe the book mentions an archive of his strips somewhere.

Profile Image for Negativni.
148 reviews65 followers
January 9, 2016
Jedan od najboljih web stripova sa odličnim humorom. Gurewitch je u PBF-u obradio valjda sve bitne teme: religiju, seksualnost, znanstvenu fantastiku, rat, samoubojstvo, nasilje i smrt i to na originalan način, uzimajući ono najbolje od surealizma i apsurda. Ironija i humor dolaze iznenada i često na neočekivanim mjestima. Zato vjerovatno tako dobro i funkcionira.

Od prve epizode Ukrućeni povjetarac do najnovije, Gurewitch uspjeva održati kvalitetu, oštrinu i orginalnost iako strip radi preko 10 godina i ima skoro 300 epizoda.

Strip se može besplatno pročitati od prve epizode na službenoj stranici: http://www.pbfcomics.com/.

Profile Image for Dov Zeller.
Author 2 books105 followers
January 22, 2016
This isn't necessarily my kind of humor -- super hetero-centric, a lot of, to quote another gr reviewer "sophomoric" jokes, several which I disliked. But there are enough brilliant moments, and the art is so consistently good, that I couldn't not give it a high rating.

I think my favorite was the two snails crawling onto a sloth in an attempt to get transportation away from a live, active volcano. "Worry not my friend," one snail says to the other. "This monkey will swiftly scamper to safety." Har har.

Glad I got it out of the library, but I think I'm much more interested in longer narratives (short stories, graphic novels/bios/memoirs/non-fiction essays or books) than reading a whole bunch of short strips. Kind of labor intensive.

I do happen to be reading "The Book of Leviathan" and its been interesting reading these two side by side.
Profile Image for Peter Derk.
Author 24 books333 followers
August 5, 2021
If I was the kind of person who let others defecate in my home, this is what I'd keep in the bathroom for them.

I'd prefer other people don't defecate in my home, though. Not like I'll stop people, but c'mon, man, if you have to deuce, it's probably time to head home. Pooping is like nature's reminder that you're overstaying your welcome.
Profile Image for Joie.
110 reviews10 followers
April 23, 2012
"...I definitely like to deal with things that I don't totally understand and things that make people uncomfortable. And I like bringing it up in an honest way." This quote from Perry Bible Fellowship creator Nicholas Gurewitch, taken from an interview featured in the back of this fat, lovely collection of his work, is a pretty perfect summary of his comics. Often morbid or lewd, usually smart and shocking, PBF is probably one of my favorite comics of all time. These strips tell stories, sometimes bizarre and sometimes disconcertingly normal, in which you find yourself seeing the situation from one perspective only to suddenly have the rug pulled out from under you. In her preface to the book, Diablo Cody compares reading these strips to being a giddy kid away at camp until "that last panel creeps in like a big kid to kick my ass." The last panels are, indeed, usually ass-kickers.

This collection is pretty much a must-have for any fan of the series. In addition to all of the comics that can be found on the website (with the exception of the handful posted recently), the book is interspersed with strips not posted online. The highlight for me was an entire section of "Lost Strips," which never made it to print or the web. These lost gems are made even better by Gurewitch's commentary on why he couldn't use them ("This needs sound effects"; "Not funny, AND, technically, a poop joke"; one strip marked "I never intended this one to be as offensive as it is sometimes interpreted to be" followed by another marked "I never meant this to be as unfunny as it is sometimes interpreted to be"). This section is followed by some sketches as well as the previously mentioned interview.

The binding is gorgeous, the printing is high quality (I loved being able to soak in all the details easily overlooked online), and if you're not convinced yet: it includes a little ribbon for marking your page. SOLD, eh? I have no qualms about giving this one five stars.
Profile Image for Patrick.
Author 89 books232k followers
September 8, 2016
Just about the funniest damn thing ever.

Profile Image for Leiris.
9 reviews
June 20, 2020
Maybe an extra star for nostalgia since my now-wife and I bonded over PBF when we first met, and its jokes have become standards around our household (especially "It's all politics, Joel", "With love anything is possible").

Certainly one of the funniest comic strips you'll find (may I also recommend 'Hark! A Vagrant' and 'Julius Knipl'?).

Oh and here's the namesake church in Perry, Maine, which I randomly passed on a roadtrip in 2012:
PB Fellowship,in ME
Profile Image for Salty Swift.
784 reviews4 followers
March 4, 2022
It’s only fun until someone looses an eye… seriously, I can’t relate to anyone who can’t appreciate Nicholas Gurewitch’s boundless humour. Genius!
Profile Image for Jose Brox.
207 reviews21 followers
August 26, 2021
Great artwork with may different styles, and some of the best strips ever. A must read for fans of smart humor.
Profile Image for Dominick.
Author 15 books27 followers
January 22, 2016
Gurewitch is a talented cartoonist with an impressive range, most evident when he does pastiches, including some spot-on takes on Gorey. These strips are delightfully diverse, stylistically anyway, ranging from the simple, almost primitive, through the ornate, even almost baroque. Some are black and white, others lush full colour. The visual unpredictability of this makes these strips stand out from others with more fixed and unvarying styles. Gurewitch is also often quite funny, usually with a dark or macabre twist thrown in, and with a remarkable economy of expression; many strips are wordless or nearly so, depending on readers making visual connections--sometimes including the necessity of making relatively large leaps to get the joke (e.g. panel 1: two wolves dressing up as sheep; panel 2: disguised wolves among the flock, evidently fooling the shepherd; panel 3: meat counter at the grocery store, with two packs of a somewhat different shape and colour than the others). After a while, the unpredictability itself gets a bit predictable, but the strips remain generally entertaining. However, sometimes the leaps are a bit larger than I could make; a few of the strips simply left me scratching my head. Furthermore, I've dinged this a star for, basically, waste of space. I read almost half this book just waiting in the line at the store (it was a long line admittedly), because there is only one strip per page, in contrast to the two or three per page more typical in strip collections. Now, this does make it easier to experience each strip as a unique phenomenon, but it also means a lot of white space and a quick read. At least the price is reasonable. Anyway, if you enjoy relatively abstruse, elliptical comics with a macabre bent and with occasional graphic (albeit not hardcore) content, this is worth checking out.
Profile Image for Leena Luppakorva.
1 review7 followers
June 10, 2013
Don't bother reading the Finnish translation. It's simply too clumsy and most of the one-liners and puns just did not work.

The strips are pure comic gold, but this was merely a collection of old time favourites without new additions.
Profile Image for Juan Pablo.
Author 5 books37 followers
June 11, 2016
Lo seguía por internet en versión original, ha sido curioso leerlo traducido. Lo mejor los extras, tiras desechadas e inéditas.

Humor absurdo y cruel con apariencia infantil.
Profile Image for Jesse.
870 reviews8 followers
February 24, 2022
PBF is an amazing comic strip, with lots of truly bizarre humor and a crazy amount of diversity in its art styles. I've always loved it. Re-reading it through this collection, there were certainly a handful that are more.... questionable now that I'm more woke from Phoenix. But not enough to sink this ship by any means.

On to this particular collection.... I used to own the very first PBF collection, and was annoyed at how it was incomplete and not in order. The first "Almanack" seemed to have fixed that, but I never got around to owning that one. Now having read this one, it seems to be fully complete, which is great. Unfortunately, I do not care for the vertical page layouts. Taking what were once horizontal comic strips and stacking them is just... wrong. There are so many instances where I can feel how the natural pacing of a strip should be, how it once was when your eye just flowed through all the panels from left to right. Now there's always a weird gap. Strips with odd numbered panels especially suffer, as he usually will make the first or last panel huge, and while it is occasionally nice to be able to see the art so large, it really hurts the pacing. So many of his strips rely on the "punch line" panel being the same size as the previous ones, it's akin to a long list of seemingly mundane items including a bizarre entry at the end, but spoken in the same deadpan manner as the rest. That's how so many of his punchlines function, and when they are instead blown up to 2x size and don't flow out of the previous ones in a straight line, that feeling is lost. The artificial amplification of panels just really hurts them, way more often than not. It... sucks. But this is still probably the best version of the book, I'm not sure, as I've never actually seen the original almanack. I also do hate how the strips are not in chronological order. I understand if he wants to spread his less good early work throughout, and not turn off potential new readers by frontloading that stuff, but for an established fan like myself, I'd much prefer to be able to see the evolution of his work. At the very least it he could date them. Oh well. Despite these problems, the book still gets 4 stars just on the strength of the material to begin with.
Profile Image for Nate.
1,513 reviews15 followers
July 28, 2020
The Perry Bible Fellowship completely eluded me until recently. It’s a comic strip that ran in weekly newspapers from 2004-2007. I’d describe it as The Far Side, only more risqué and offensive. And like The Far Side, its irreverent, often bizarre humor is not for everyone. As a lover of dark comedy I enjoyed it. Many of these strips are smartly designed, and it sometimes took me a minute to get them. Not all of them worked for me but the ones that did made me laugh out loud. And the art is fantastic. Gurewitch utilizes numerous styles, even homaging other creators with spot-on interpretations. Some of the painted strips (at least I think they’re painted) are incredibly detailed. Others, presumably the early ones, are more simple sketches. The unpublished comics at the end of the book are equally impressive from an art standpoint.

I will say that reading the strips back-to-back gets tiresome. I don’t think collections are the best format for reading comic strips - or at least not reading them in a marathon session - but it’s nice having all of them in one easily accessible place.

This comic already has a big fan base and I’m late to the party. For lovers of dark, off-color humor who haven’t dipped their toes into Perry Bible Fellowship, I recommend you do so.
361 reviews2 followers
January 14, 2023
To revisit The Perry Bible Fellowship is to catch up with an old friend. You fall back into the same jokes and mannerisms even if you've spent a decade apart.

God, PBF is good. It is a stunning piece of a webcomic mixing high quality art and jokes with serious bite. Gurewitch proves to be a master of sight gags, reference-based humor, and wordplay. And the most incredible bit of all of it is how consistently good the comic is over the entire run presented here. The last leg of the book is rejected or unfinished strips revealing Gurewitch's talent for realizing that a joke wouldn't work and the courage to discard concepts that weren't going to pan out.

Look, you'll love it. It's fantastic and well presented here. If you, somehow, missed out on the phenomenon of PBF in it's heyday, this will get you up to speed.
Profile Image for Maria Shuffit.
397 reviews17 followers
October 3, 2017
After reading a few of these gems online that had my husband and I both cracking up, I immediately hopped onto my library's website to see if there was a collection available. There was; huzzah!

Unfortunately the collection as a whole barely made me crack a smile. While I generally love dark humor, this book had a few really good strips, but mostly ones that just made me go "meh." Not bad to flip through, but another one of those books that I am glad I borrowed from the library and didn't spend my money on it.
May 25, 2023
A fantastic bound edition of the web comic, in all its horrible, subversive glory! Also includes one that even the author thought was too terrible for the internet (which is quite an accomplishment, if I must say so). ABSOLUTELY not for kids (with extremely rare exception), but super funny! Every strip is a challenge to your expectations, with a punchline completely out of left field! The only sad thing is it's not a daily comic (which would be amazing, frankly), but some things are worth the wait. :)
Profile Image for Lectora brújula  .
878 reviews56 followers
May 9, 2020
Muchas tiras se merecen una carcajada grave, otras incluso un aplauso. Son originales, surrealistas y sorprenden con algún golpe inesperado. Pero, después de un chiste inteligente, pasamos a un montón de gracietas tontas e infantiles. En resumen, humor de todos los colores y para todos los gustos. Un libro entretenido que te hace pasar un buen rato.
Profile Image for BiblioBeruthiel.
1,915 reviews15 followers
October 16, 2017
Due to this being an "almanac" there is definitely a LOT of overlap between this volume and other volumes. Was cool to see some stuff at the end that he didn't publish before, but overall about 95% of the strips were things I had seen before. Always entertaining and dark though.
Profile Image for Jarrah.
809 reviews44 followers
July 1, 2018
Ahahahahaha. So weird and funny, heavy with irony and morbidity that will be up your alley if you're a fan of other comic strips like Cyanide and Happiness. My favourite part of this collection was the section of rejected or un-submitted comic strips at the end with reasons they're sub-par.
Author 13 books8 followers
November 23, 2019
I had never heard of this until it was mentioned on a podcast recently. All I can say is I'm not sure how I missed it. Brilliantly hilarious. I was amazed that for me 90% of the jokes landed. Definantly something I'll be giving out as gifts.
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