Applegeeks Vol. 1: Freshman Year

No caption.by Mohammed F. Haque and Ananth Panagariya

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Format: softcover, 7x9, full color, $14.95

ISBN: 978-1-59582-174-4

Reviewed by: Publishers Weekly

Reprinting most of the popular Web comic's first two years, along with bountiful extras, this amiable collection introduces college students Hawk and Jayce, mangaesque stand-ins for the young creators. Most of the time they are just typical American game-playing, comics-reading, Mac freaks—with extra smarts to realize their fantasies but enough shrewdness to realize how absurd they sometimes look. Since Hawk has trouble getting a date, for example, he builds a robot woman who promptly changes her system password and begins zapping the inferior computers around her. Occasionally, their South Asian heritage influences the action, as when Hawk fasts for Ramadan while Jayce tempts him with glazed doughnuts. Haque’s layouts and artwork are so full of exuberant energy that it’s sometimes hard to follow conversations or the continuity of panels, but Panagariya’s wry scripts keep the characters accessible and likable. Besides the Web comics themselves (each one with commentary by Panagariya), the book includes pinups, contributions to convention programs, samples of the creators' fiction and sketches, and guest artists' versions of the characters. This attractive collection will appeal to old and new fans.