Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Knight Life: Chivalry Ain't Dead, by Keith Knight

Contest Book #18

Keith Knight's The Knight Life: Chivalry Ain't Dead is a low-key but consistently entertaining comic strip centered around Knight, an African-American cartoonist and musician living in L.A. Knight's family and friends (including a former rapper whose label has faked his death in order to boost record sales) are heavily featured in the autobiographical strip, which dabbles in everything from public transportation to his German wife's maladroit attempts at embracing American slang.

Sadly, the advance-reader copy we received was a stapled-together collection of 4 pages of introduction and 12 pages' worth of strips, so we were just guessing on the contents of the book's remaining 195 pages... until Wikipedia informed us that one can read the past Knight Life strips here. Flipping through the strips online is a testament to Knight's flexible sense of humor, which seems equally comfortable taking jabs at Dick Cheney's reserved seat in Hell and poking gentle fun at his wife's fear of spiders. Individual strips were rarely laugh-out-loud hilarious, but this is one of those strips that is best read as a collection—like early Bloom County, The Knight Life combines the personal and political in a way that manages to be as endearing as it is amusing.

[Review based on a publisher-provided copy.]

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