I follow a handful of cartoonists across various social media platforms, so I can be pretty sure that some very good cartoon books have been published this year. Sadly though, the Kindle market doesn’t seem to have caught on to that fact – the top-selling title on its best sellers list seems to be a book of rehashed Fortnite memes.
“Memes: Funny Fortnite Memes 2018” is currently sitting at the top of Amazon Australia’s Kindle cartoon best-sellers list, where it’s on sale for AUS$8.06 (£4.50/US$5.72). A quick look inside reportedly presents you with over 2000 pages of memes, many of which date back to in-game events from several seasons ago, or are entirely unrelated to the game.
Most of the book seems to be lifted from various Facebook and Twitter feeds, with a lack of any discernible curation or any attempt to credit the original poster. That, then, makes the copyright notice at the beginning of the ‘book’ – which states “in no way is it legal to reproduce, duplicate, or transmit any part of this book […] without express written consent of the author” even more amusing.
Given that the book’s primary author is apparently named Memes Memes, I feel it’d be difficult to get hold of them. A secondary author, David Samsom, is also credited, but they haven’t published any other titles listed on Amazon. The book’s publisher is listed as ARM Publishing, but a Google search yielded only a Facebook page for a publisher of what looks to be erotic novels.
This whole thing is made even more distressing by the fact that so few spots on the best sellers list are filled by actual cartoon books. The staff of the The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’s charity book ‘Whose Boat is this Boat?’ comes in at number four, but you’ll need to get to number seven on the list before a classic comes up in the form of Peanuts Volume 1. Dilbert, Garfield, and Calvin and Hobbes all show up eventually, but they’re massively outnumbered by titles filled with the same selection of Fortnite memes. Maybe I’m just getting old, but I have to say that I prefer my cartoon books filled with actual cartoons drawn by real people, rather than simply harvested off the internet. But then, maybe we get the culture we deserve.
Elsewhere in Epic’s battle royale, the controversial new Infinity Blade is getting nerfed, having wrought havoc on the game’s recent esports tournament. If you fancy steering clear of that hot mess, you can go and make your own game in Fortnite Creative. The new mode lets you create custom game modes with Epic’s tech, and then gives you the opportunity to have them featured in-game.