Tom Gauld has an iconic style for his comic strips that he has created for The Guardian over the course of his career. Renowned for taking highbrow issues and condensing them down into short panel comics, he evidently bares his trademark sense of humour, bringing comic strips to mainstream with an obvious satire. He has this time, however, turned his hand to creating comic strip postcards, which culminate to produce The Snooty Bookshop, Fifty Literary Postcards.
Tom Gauld is from Aberdeenshire and has been published in New Scientist and the New York Times as well as The Guardian. His book Baking With Kafka won Best Humour Publication at the 2018 Eisner Awards and now resides and works in London.
This book hones in on the libraries, writing desks, bookshops and publishing companies, and has taken some of Gauld’s contributions to The Guardian, celebrating more than a decade of these. ‘Poetry Anthologies for People Who Don’t Like Poems’ is pretty marvellous as is ‘The Sex Scene’ and ‘The Set Text’ which comments on the students’ ability to read around the set text, watch the film and then feel like they are at the stage of writing, without having read the book.
There is plenty in there to make you giggle, particularly if you are either a fan of Gauld’s work or understand the book world to some degree. There is a great deal of satire, and pinching fun at stereotypes within this follow up to Baking With Kafka. Sadly, I feel that the strip on how a book lover packs for their holiday might be poking fun at me, but the deadpan humour in these are fabulous. The artwork is simple, yet dark, reminiscent of David Shrigley but with more colour, but works wonders for what this satire is setting out to achieve.
This is the perfect gift for any bookish person, as long as they are able to take life less seriously, of course.
The Snooty Bookshop is available now, published by Canongate.