As a humongous fan of Adventure Time; I’m all over the comics, the ‘Art of’ books, the title cards collections… You name it, I’ve probably got it! I am always game for getting more information and back story from one of my favourite shows, and this double feature of a book, written by the real-life father-daughter team of Martin & Olivia Olson (Hunson Abadeer and Marceline respectively), provides that and then some!
The first thing to note about this book is the fantastic production values; the pages are thick, glossy and beautiful. Whilst the dust-jacket makes the book look a little on the childish side, once removed, the hardcover boasts a rather gorgeous replication of the cover of The Enchiridion on one side, and a delightfully graffitied notebook once belonging to Simon Petrikov (aka Ice King) and now the property of one Marceline, Vampire Queen, on the other. The art within the book is also quite stunning, combining stills from the show itself with medieval inspired drawings and diagrams, as well as Simon and Marceline’s own artwork and photographs.
The book itself is a little ingenious. Whilst The Enchiridion’s half of the book has little to do with any particular characters within the book, it is still laced with the sort of humour fans of the show have come to love (“…unless
they’ve got a better idea, those scholars should go back to Learning School and take a class in Advanced Shut Up.”), Marcy’s scrapbook more than makes up for that. Both have a lot to offer in terms of adding to the world already built up in Adventure Time, and are an incredibly interesting read.
I will say though, that it’s probably a good idea to make sure you read Marceline’s Scrapbook when you’re having a particularly good day. I say this because the book begins as Simon Petrikov’s notebook and chronicles his dissent into madness as the crown which bestows him with ice powers slowly breaks his mind. Simon and Marcy’s relationship has always been a tear-jerking one (an allegory for slowly losing a loved one to dementia if ever there was one) and as such this part of the book can be genuinely upsetting at times, especially once Marcy is left to fend for herself. It was during reading this half that I started to wonder who this book is actually for, and I rather doubt it is aimed at children. Marceline’s Scrapbook is both touching and alarming, whilst The Enchiridion is wordy and intriguingly bamboozling (it’s written across time…) This is part of Adventure Time’s overall brilliance; it recognises that its audience is large and varied, and provides for the many different sections of it in it’s merchandise.
Having the Olsons’ work on this was a stroke of genius; having worked with Adventure Time for a while, they are both very adept at capturing the voice of the show and its characters, and there are unexpected and pleasing twists and turns. The only thing that put me off a little were the comments on the sides of The Enchiridion’s pages from Finn, Jake and other much loved characters via Hunson’s ‘Magical Texting App’. For the most part, they added very little to the reading experience, often threw off the flow of the book itself and seemed to only serve to include said characters in a book that otherwise wouldn’t involve them.
That being said, this book is a smashing read, well worth your time and a must-have for those as much in love with Adventure Time as I am (and I’m very much in love with it). Mathematical!
AUTHOR: Martin & Olivia Olson
PUBLISHER: Titan Books
Reviewer: Stacey Taylor (@StacebobT)