Wuvable Oaf is near and dear to me. Just look at the logo on the home page and click the tags Wuvable Oaf and Ed Luce for other reviews and miscellaneous items! So, yeah, saying Oaf is near and dear is a big understatement.
I love oaf so much I’d fill your screen with happy emojis, but that would get annoying. So I’ll talk about the book instead and why you’ll want this book even if you have all the comics. Oaf is a big guy and this book is too, measuring 7 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches and weighing well over two pounds. You’ll notice this book for its heft like you’d notice Oaf if you were dating. Well, the book won’t crush you like Oaf did one of his dates (see Worst Dates Ever: 1999 on page 47). Luce’s art and masterful line work looks even better at a larger size. All the stories, some of which are hard to find now, are all here so you won’t have to hunt for your copies and you won’t have to risk tearing those kitty stickers Luce uses on his bags when you order from him. Those stickers are really fun touch that I always enjoy. Rounding out the material is a 36 paged Who’s Who handbook section with details and history of all the characters. Details like oaf’s boyfriend is really named Eiffel because his French hippie parents conceived him under its shadow just add more layers to the lives of these fictional people.
Luce’s good design sense abound in this book. Front and back covers feature colorful illustrations – Oaf surrounded by a hoard of cats on the front and other characters in Oaf’s world on the back pop out from a hot pink background. The spine is the same pink as the back cover with a furry “Wuvable Oaf” logo so it will really stand out in your bookcase. End papers and title pages are filled with crosshatched hair with title and credits in cleverly shaved out shapes. That’s just one example of why I’ve suggested before that comics artists limited to working in B & W should study Luce’s art for techniques for inspiration. Matte white paper has a smooth finish and good feel and is a guaranteed glare free reading experience. Luce and publisher Fantagraphics made a smart choice to use sewn binding. How a book is held together usually isn’t a topic on readers’ minds though it matters a lot. Sewn binding makes a book significantly stronger and longer lasting and the pages lie flat and open when placed on a table. The black and white striped headbands at the top and bottom of the spine are a fun touch too. The special edition, which I don’t have, is even better with a flocked hair dust jacket, pink and green foil embellishments, a collage of all the covers from the original single issues snuggled in a slipcase.
Now if you’re completely unfamiliar with Wuvable Oaf and curious you can buy single issues too, and I’ll be surprised if you read only one.
You can buy this book in a regular or special slipcase edition direct from Wuvable Oaf, your local comic or book shop or Amazon. The slipcase edition is available only from the Oaf store.