Review: Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog: The Book makes great companion

Joss Whedon has put together a companion book for fans of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, and it contains everything a fan could hope for.

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog has quickly become a sensation. A film project whipped together practically overnight, and shot in the course of a few days, then split into webisodes, it was the first time a web-released film became successful in any meaningful ways, and now that it’s available on DVD and Blu-ray, fans are able to watch it in clear Hi-def, and sing-along with their friends to all of the masterfully composed songs. It’s a masterpiece musical made for geeks.

To serve as a companion to the film, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog: The Book is now available. Most of the book is taken up with a full shooting script and sheet music for the film, but there is also a comprehensive section detailing the costumes, pages about the awards the film has received, and even a transcript of Commentary! The Musical!, the DVD commentary set to music, which is available on the DVD or Blu-ray.

There is also an introduction by Nathon Fillion, writing as Captain Hammer, which is hilarious, and an afterward by Neil Patrick Harris (not as Dr. Horrible) which is touching. He describes the Dr. Horrible project as “the single best thing I’ve ever done,” and goes on to tell why he loves the film so much.

The script is interspersed with stills from the film, quotes from the cast, and bits of memorabilia, all in vivid color. It gives an insight into the production process for the film, that few fans get to see about their favorite properties, and we can really get a sense of the comradery, and sheer frenetic joy that went into making the film. It’s the little things that are most interesting, like reading an early draft for the first laundromat scene, and finding out the Felicia Day’s costumes all came from her own personal closet.

The sheet-music is straight-forward black staffs and tabs on white background, but that’s as it should be. Unlike the script, which is there for giggles, the sheet music is serious business, layed out to be really played and enjoyed with piano and guitar. If you’ve got a great piano player in your group, you can have a Dr. Horrible Sing-Along party without even playing the film.

The book itself is outstanding quality. The paper is thick and durable, and the printing is all photo-perfect. One of the highest-quality fan companions I’ve ever seen. That combined with the large format (8.5×11), makes this a book that any fan would be proud to place out on the coffee table for his/her geeky guests to look over.

Anyone who enjoys Dr. Horrible needs a copy of this companion. It’s worth it just to get the sheet music, but the rest of the book is just as worth treasuring.

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog: The Book is available at most bookstores and through Amazon.