Gronk: A Monster’s Story Volume 3
Dale’s still a beleaguered substitute parent, coping with the little monster Gronk. My favorite strips are those that either 1) comment on popular culture or 2) treat Gronk as the equivalent of a toddler, operating on her own logic and (usually) utterly destroying part of Dale’s world.
You can imagine, then, how tickled I was by this one, which combines My Little Pony references with an unexpected bit of heart-warming emotionalism. It’s a surprising touch for what’s usually a humor book. It also demonstrates how well Cook can show feelings in Gronk’s simple character design.
Gronk (and thus, Cook) is also quite imaginative. A later strip where Gronk rampages among cereal boxes has Dale exasperatedly asking Gronk to use empty boxes, only for Gronk to reply, “I like to pretend the Cheerios are fleeing citizens.” Well, ok, yeah, that makes sense.
Another strip is amusing more for the setup than the punchline. Gronk is playing a card game with the giant dog Harli. The dog, of course, holds the cards in his mouth, resulting in copious amounts of drool all over the game.
A number of gags this volume relate to winter and snow, but as many deal with technical toys, like playing with an iPad while watching a movie. I was surprised but pleased to see several strips that avoid the usual punchline in favor of cogent observation. The book ends with the expected set of Gronk drawings by other artists.