The Adventure Time Encyclopedia
What could have been presented as a character guide, such as Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe or DC's Who's Who, takes a little side-step here. The Adventure Time Encyclopedia doesn't read the same way those books do. Don't get me wrong; there are character profiles on, as far as I can tell, every character ever to grace the screen or pages of Adventure Time.
The twist to this book is that it's presented as a guide to the "Inhabitants, lore, spells, and ancient crypt warnings of the Land of Ooo circa 19.56 BGE-501 AGE," according to the cover, as well as having been put together by Hunson Abadeer, Lord of Evil. Keen viewers will know this man as the father of Marceline, the vampiric rock singer.
Hunson Abadeer (as translated by Martin Olson) divides the book into two character sections--one for the major players and one for the minor. Also included are sections dedicated to travel guides (written by Princess Bubblegum and Marceline), Oooian spells, and forbidden chapters of the encyclopedia.
This is anything buy boring. Each page is a treat for the eye. Every inch of this thing is packed with information and awesome art that looks both old and highly detailed. Contributing artists include Renee French, Aisleen Romano, Mahendra Singh, and Tony Millionaire, so you know it's beautiful.
What I found most entertaining were the yearbook-like comments throughout this book by Finn, Jake, and Marceline, each in their own recognizable handwriting and ink color. It completes a package that is perfect.
If I have to choose one beef with this volume, it's that it's relatively small in dimensions. Something called an "encyclopedia", in my mind, should be the shape of an encyclopedia. That is, however, a very nitty nitpick. The spot-varnishing and embossing on the hardback cover is enough to make up for any problems with the size.
All in all, you can't go wrong with this if you're a fan of either the TV show or the TV show and comic. This is the kind of book which, as a child, I would have pored over every night as I was going to bed, and again on nights when I couldn't sleep. The kind of book I would have used as reference material for when I was drawing--in fact, if I owned this as a child, it would have indents in the pages from where I would try to duplicate a picture for the opposite page. You can look at this again and again and again and still get some new bit of information with each return.
Know an Adventure Time fan? This is the perfect Christmas gift. But you might want to order another one for yourself.