Review: The Penned Guin - The Bell

by Benjamin Williams
23rd January, 2024
2 minutes

If you are in the mood for some quick and easy jokes, from dad jokes to the silly and absurd, then you might enjoy the latest book by Penned Guin. Alan Henderson is back on Kickstarter at the moment with the latest and last Penned Guin book, The Bell. And it's as delightful as you can expect.

The Penned Guin The Bell cover

Alan Henderson is an extremely productive creator who regularly posts Penned Guin comic strips on both Twitter and Instagram. If you follow him, then you've surely seen and hopefully laughed at many of the three-panelled penguin antics that he shares. Eight books and almost a decade's worth of daily penguin jokes culminate in the end of an era packed full of strips that have appeared online throughout 2023.

Starting with the art, as usual. Alan has a simplistic style that is full of charm. The penguins always look adorable and can convey a wide range of emotions to enhance the comedic nature of the strips. It doesn't need to be more than it is, because it does everything it needs to achieve. Using bold lines in just black and white, there's a real quality to what's on display and a level of consistency throughout that almost makes you believe this whole series is based around just a handful of penguins.

The Penned Guin The Bell preview one

The simplicity extends to the lettering, which is just as bold, clear and simple. Everything is very clear and easy to read, which is essential when the jokes are the main selling point.

The book is mostly three-panel jokes. But sometimes there's a little break from the norm. You'll get the occasional one or two panel jokes. There's even an eight panel joke at one point. It adds a nice little bit of variety to the book, even though 90-95% of the book is three panels per joke.

The Penned Guin The Bell preview two

Story wise, well... there is no story. This isn't that kind of comic. This is a comic that you can dip in and out of at will. Read a page or two just to cheer up your day a little bit.

The book covers a wide range of topics, including visual humour, puns, observations, religion, history, parodies, dad jokes, and cringe-inducing jokes. There is something for everyone. Maybe every joke won't land for you, but I'm pretty confident that the majority will. Some will make you laugh out loud, some will have you sniggering and others might even make your eyes roll at poor dad humour (which is still humorous).

The Penned Guin The Bell preview Three

The Penned Guin: The Bell is a delightful collection of penguin jokes that will make you laugh, smile, and groan. Alan Henderson has created a charming comic strip collection that showcases his witty and whimsical humour. It's a fitting farewell to a decade of daily penguin antics, and a testament to Henderson’s creativity and productivity. If you are looking for a quick and easy way to brighten up your day, you might want to check out this book on Kickstarter while it's still running. And give Alan a follow, too - it's simply @pennedguin (or @Shadow1972 if you want to follow Alan personally) for more updates on what he's up to.

Rating: 5/5

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