Weird but True Toon Factoids
written by Craig Yoe
You learn a wealth of information in Craig Yoe’s delightfully entertaining Weird But True Toon Factoids!, a collection of little bits of data that add up to a crash course in comics history. You won’t find in-depth articles, but you’ll learn things like how Bob Kane was inspired to create the nefarious Batman villain The Penguin when he saw a smoking penguin in an ad for Kool cigarettes, or how Jim Morrison (of The Doors) was a big R. Crumb fan.
As you can tell by the title alone, Yoe is a big fan of the exclamation point (he also created YOE! Studios), and that kind of breathless excitement permeates every page of the book. The information presented is random, and it covers an incredibly broad scope of comics history, including comic strips, TV and movies and popular culture, comic books, cartoons, and more. Yoe is a comics historian himself, so he knows of what he writes, and he’s clearly having a good time here. The content is sometimes a little off-color, but there’s nothing that inappropriate for teens. Most of it is just tongue-in-cheek jokes that sometimes ring a little blue. But the real draw, of course, is the collection of factoids—endlessly fascinating and/or chuckle-inducing, like how Charles Schulz hated the name “Peanuts” and how Yvonne Craig’s Batgirl costume had to be altered to fit her ample figure.