I just finished off the sixth volume of the Penny-Arcade collected editions, The Halls Below. This one collects the 2005 strips.
2005 was not the strongest year in PA to begin with. Switching publishers from Dark Horse to Del Rey was also a mistake, as the book itself just felt... cheaper as I was reading it. There was less insight to the strips, and there were these weird splash pages that really just seemed like filler. Add to the mix that the trade dress is different (so now they don't look like a nice, neat series all lined up on my bookcase), and I should probably have just given this book a pass.
It's a shame, too. Penny-Arcade is one of those comics that you really want to like, and want to like it all the time. Some times it delivers and delivers hard, but other times it is just uninspired and sort of blah. This volume, as I mentioned previously, does have the fantastic Skeletor strip, but in this case, visiting it on the web is more gratifying than holding it in your hands.
Gabe's art is very good throughout the book, though. That's worth noting. If nothing else, the strips are pretty to look at. I just think, that as a whole, I've enjoyed this edition the least so far, and I can't really recommend it. It's not like I get comps anymore, so I always feel bad when I go out and buy a book only to be disappointed as I finish it up. Ah well.