Close on the heels of The Big Book of Urban Legends comes a companion volume of comic-strip biographies of a motley assortment of 67 crackpots, visionaries, despots, prophets, performers, and others whose peculiarities supposedly elevate them above mere eccentricity into the realm of the truly bizarre. It is not as successful as its predecessor, in which the urban legends theme allowed the cartoonists to develop succinct little narratives. It's not as easy to encapsulate the life of, say, Ivan the Terrible, in 35 panels. Moreover, the choice of subjects is too disparate: weird is too mild a word for Adolf Hitler, and other strips simply focus on the unconventional sides of such successful people as Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. The most interesting profiles are of the most obscure figures, such as flagpole-sitter Shipwreck Kelly and fitness freak Bernarr McFadden. Still, the book does showcase another stellar lineup of comics artists whose styles range from photorealistic to cartoony and nearly all of whom do justice to the personages they portray.