If nothing is certain but death and taxes, you may as well have a good laugh while you can. Avery Monsen and Jory John have created a depressingly funny book about friends and death (but no taxes). From the dinosaur and the dodo who mourn that all their friends are dead to the sock whose only friend has recently gone missing, the characters in All My Friends Are Dead will make you laugh even while you feel a bit sorry for their plights. Monsen and Jory strike just the right balance of humor and pathos and the cartoons have just enough detail that you can pick up the nuances in their facial expressions.
Granted, humor about death isn’t for everyone. I once played Ogden Edsl‘s “Dead Puppies” song from my Dr. Demento CD for someone, not knowing that their dog had actually just died that week. Yeah, not funny. You never know which page of this book might induce cringes instead of laughter, but for your friends who have that sort of off-kilter sense of humor, this is a great little gift book. I first came across it at Comic-Con this year, and it still gets a laugh every time I read it. It’s a chunky little hardcover with 96 pages that you’ll want to read it over and over. Better get two.
You can read a few sample pages at NoMoreFriends.net.
One note: despite appearances, it’s not intended for little kids. For one, they won’t really get the humor in it and you’ll find yourself saying “It’s hard to explain” more times than you want. Also, there’s guy with a dummy who’s a little disturbing.
Disclosure: Chronicle Books provided a review copy.