22nd Nov2013

‘The Adventure Time Encyclopaedia’ Review

by Jack Kirby

adventuretimeenc

Or to give the book it’s FULL title: The Adventure Time Encyclopaedia, Compiled by His Lowness, Hunson Abadeer, Lord of Evil (Translated from the Scrolls of OOO by Martin Olson)

If you don’t like Adventure Time, I’d say the chances are you haven’t watched it. I’m right, aren’t I? Do yourself a favour and go watch some. Right now. This review will still be here when you get back. Go on. Off you trot.

Are we all on the same Adventure Time-loving page now? Great, I can continue. As you’ll now know, Adventure Time is a delightful animated programme about a human boy and his best friend, a shape-shifting dog and their escapades in the weird land of Ooo. It’s clever, hip, very, very funny and has a streak of pure disturbing running through its dark heart so strongly, you wonder if it’s really for kids at all.

Which it is and it isn’t. Clearly kids can enjoy it, but the writing is far too good to be enjoyed by them alone. Such is the case with this book, written ostensibly by Hunson Abadeer (ruler of the Nightosphere, Marceline’s Dad) but really written by the voice actor who plays him, Martin Olson and employs a similarly pitched tone and humour. Finn, Jake and Marceline also offer their scrawled asides in the margins.

The Abadeer persona is particularly disparaging of Ooo and its inhabitants and pulls no punches in its description of them. There are several unflattering biographies of the Adventure Time A-listers (Lumpy Space Princess get a particularly harsh kicking) and a fairly comprehensive guide to the multitude of more minor characters in the Ooo-niverse. A travel guide, some spells and secrets and a section devoted to the Ice King’s deranged gender-swapped fan-fiction make up the bulk of the rest of the tome. A part of the book entitled ‘If You Read This Chapter You Will Die’ perhaps gives a flavour of the sort of darkly humorous tone you can expect.

I suppose I’m prepared to concede that perhaps Adventure Time’s skewed whimsy humour may not be to all tastes and to be completely objective, its weird sensibilities work better on television than in print. But The Adventure Time Encyclopaedia (I think they should’ve called it The Enchiridion) is stuffed to the gills with fan-friendly jokes and deictic references that will keep any member of the show’s legion of viewers happy until the breakout of the Mushroom War.

The Adventure Time Encyclopaedia is out now from Titan Books.

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