Saturday, December 23, 2006

Where's Bin Laden? Cartoon Book Is Surprise Christmas Hit

Fans of the dead terrorist rock star Osama bin Laden, late of Osama And The Nineteen Patsies, will be pleased to learn their hero is the subject of a cartoon book which is doing very well in the stores this holiday season.

As reported in today's Guardian, Find Bin Laden: cartoon book is surprise Christmas hit
It is either funny or tasteless, or perhaps it is both. One thing is certain, it is popular. A book in which the reader has to find a cartoon Osama bin Laden on crowded illustrated pages is emerging as a Christmas bestseller.

The book chain Borders said yesterday that Where's Bin Laden was the best selling humour book of the year, with stocks selling out in record time.

It is based on the series of children's books Where's Wally, in which you have to find the bookish looking hero in various scenes, always involving hundreds of tiny characters.

In this version, published by New Holland, you have to find the al-Qaida leader and his henchmen. Sometimes there are weapons to find, such as a scimitar or a bundle of dynamite.
How about a few trillion dollars? Can we try to find some of the money that went missing on 9/11? Or would that be too much fun?

How about the plane that hit the Pentagon? Nobody's found that yet.

Black boxes from the planes? Apparently they were found but never entered the stream of evidence. Whatever that means.

Or maybe it would be better to find reports of Osama bin Laden's funeral.

Wait! Wait! I've got one right here:

In English:
A prominent official in the Afghan Taleban movement announced yesterday the death of Osama bin Laden, the chief of al-Qae'da organization, stating that bin Laden suffered serious complications in the lungs and died a natural and quiet death.
Whoa! Enough of this painful reality. Let's get back to the sellers of cartoon literature.
Borders said satirical books were outselling that other Christmas staple, the celebrity biography of which there seem to be more than ever.

Borders also has no qualms about stocking a book some might see as being in dubious taste. Alistair Spalding, ITS marketing executive, said: "We believe in the basic right of our customers to choose what they want to read, listen to and buy. Our customers are intelligent, curious people who enjoy exploring all types of books, films, and music.

"Some of the thousands of books and music selections we carry and events we hold could be considered controversial or objectionable depending on individual political views, tastes and interests. However, Borders stands by its commitment to let customers make the choice."

Amy Tipper, fiction buyer, said: "We've already exceeded our original stock order of this book by 300% and by Christmas we expect that to have more than doubled. This has been our biggest humour book of the year."
I wish I knew what made this book so funny. Are the readers, like your nearly frozen blogger, "laughing just to keep from crying", or have we lost our collective minds?

Note that these options are not mutually exclusive.

Then click on the photo for a larger version. Where is he? Where is he?

Boo! Did I scare you??