I’m actually a bit tardy in reviewing this — but for once it wasn’t my fault! So coveted is Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog: The Book that my review copy was actually stolen. No book that Titan Books has sent me (and you know they’ve sent me quite a few!) has gone missing, but this one did. Draw your own conclusions…
Once my copy finally arrived, I admit, I was reading it and misplaced it under a blanket. I just got too sucked into the musical magic, and forgot I was actually supposed to review the darn thing.
It seems to me there are three people in this world: Joss Whedon fans, Joss Whedon haters, and those that watched (and subsequently loved) Dr. Horrible simply because it was one of the most talked about things on the web. Two of those types will love this book; one has no need of it and can exit the screen at any time.
This is (and it feels so heavy handed to say it) the definitive Dr. Horrible book. It has everything you could possibly want: lyrics, music (including to Commentary: The Musical), behind-the-scenes stories, a transcript of the SDCC 08 panel, the Emmy win, photos, cosplayers, costume sketches, Whedon’s original lyrics, a foreword by Captain Hammer…everything. For a small musical production, it has been given the publishing treatment I’ve only seen granted to something massive like Les Miserables or Phantom of the Opera. And it deserves it. Dr. Horrible broke new ground in terms of digital content, creator owned content, and musicals. Only the bravest artists tackle this “dead” genre, let alone produce it as a blog. The cast and crew of Dr. Horrible are not only keenly aware of that, they remain in shock throughout the pages of the book, unable to believe this production has had such long legs.
If you’re a Dr. Horrible fan, you’ll want this. If you’re not — or if you liked it, but were just sort of lukewarm — you won’t. There’s nothing else I can even say about it except that Titan has done a great job producing a detailed and thorough book for fans. The only complaint I could see anyone having is that the truly dedicated (say those who want to perform it) might have preferred it in hardcover to make wear and tear easier. But that’s a quibble. (I lavish such praise on Titan’s stuff that I have to throw one or two in there, right?)
I haven’t actually watched Dr. Horrible since its 2008 debut ( I don’t even own the DVD! Shocking! Yes, I’ll rectify this soon.) I think I can say, with complete fairness, that the hype and hysteria that surrounds Whedon’s work (in the best possible way — every creator should be so lucky) can sometimes exhaust the cooler viewers. Part of me felt this way about Dr. Horrible, so I think the highest praise I can give the book is that it made me want to revisit the musical as soon as possible. And it made me want a sequel. Mr. Whedon? After The Avengers, maybe? Thanks.
Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog: The Book is available now from Titan Books and can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, still-breathing Borders, and anywhere else you prefer buying. This one is everywhere.