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If you're looking for a light, colorful, and accessible way to learn about the world's favorite drink--from it's earliest forms to the newest craft beer--then this nonfiction comic was written just for you.
The Comic Book Story of Beer follows a similar path as the documentary, starting with an examination of the inextricable link between beer and agriculture. After building that foundation, Hennessey and Smith introduce us to the process of making the brew and then give us a look at all things beer at a few key moments in history (for example, the Middle Ages, Age of Exploration, and Industrial Revolution).
Although The Comic Book Story of Beer doesn't offer any new or startling information, it's an entertaining way to get a better understanding of beer through the ages. If you click on the scan to the right, you'll discover one of the reasons beer developed its reputation of being associated with a rougher crowd compared to wine drinkers. Oh those crazy ancient Greeks!
The artwork is colorful, spanning a range of styles to fit the mood of the time period or topic being presented. The facial expressions and body language of the people clearly show emotions, and action is conveyed in conventional ways. I found it odd, however, that several panels were repeated; same drawing but with different text.
Among my favorite sections are the features called "Meet the Beer." These one-page panels are scattered throughout the book, each one presenting a specific type of beer. If you click on the scan to the left, you'll see an example.
Jonathan Hennessey and Mike Smith's The Comic Book Story of Beer is an informative look at how beer evolved from what was essentially drinkable bread about nine thousand years ago to the vast variety of craft beers and home brews that are so popular today. Knowledgeable beer drinkers will want to check the book out from the library. But if you're new to the beer world, this comic is a great place to start learning about the history of your new favorite drink.
Published by Penguin Random House / Ten Speed Press, 2015
Source: Review (see review policy)
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