Awkward Zombie: We're Going To Be Rich
by Katie Tiedrich
2012, 164 pages (softcover)
Awkward Zombie is one of my favorite webcomics. Creator Katie Tiedrich writes a comic that focuses on parodying video games of all kinds, with the occasional strip drawn from poking fun at her own life. Fans of video games will find a lot to laugh at here. We're Going to be Rich! collects the first 100 comics originally posted to Tiedrich's website, Awkward Zombie, and is available in softcover or special edition hardcover format.
In this first volume, Tiedrich primarily writes about Nintendo games like Super Smash Bros and various entries in the Legend of Zelda series, with other games popping up occasionally. If you're a fan of those games you'll likely love every panel, as Tiedrich has a great ability to point out the funny logical problems present in these games. One of my favorite such comics makes a joke about the potential difficulties with surfing in Pokemon. Even if you've never played a particular game she's referencing, the jokes tend to be broad enough to understand by more general video game fans. You may have never played World of Warcraft, but if you've played any role-playing game you may understand the humor in a large character trying to fit into stolen armor that logically should be much too small for them.
Tiedrich's art stye is perfectly suited to the sort of sideways world parody she excels at. The first couple of comics may seem crude, but they become more refined as the book progresses. It's kind of funny actually because as Tiedrich develops her own style and the characters begin to resemble each other, she even further exaggerates the physical attributes that make them unique. Being a parody, each character resembles the character it parodies just enough to get the idea, but it isn't as if Tiedrich is trying to do copies of those characters. She usually makes them even more cartoony than they already are, with fun results (look at how goofy Luigi looks, but it is still clearly Luigi).
One thing I wish was translated into the book a bit more frequently is Tiedrich's tendency to explain the comic with a note underneath. She self-deprecatingly references this in one of the comics, but it only pops up a few more times after that. Tiedrich seems to think it's a hokey device, but those are some of my favorite bits of comedy and I miss them here.
If nothing else, it is my hope that you may read this book and follow Tiedrich's work on her site. She has many more comics available and updates semi-regularly. Fans can even suggest comic ideas on her forum, which she periodically produces. Sadly, We're Going to be Rich! is the only book she's released so far, but hopefully there will be more to come.
– Alex Strine