Lions, Tigers, and Bears #4 Review

Reviewer: Paul S.

Writer: Mike Bullock
Art: Jack Lawrence
Letters: Dave Lanphear
Editor: Ron Marz
Publisher: Image, Runemaster Studios, and Alias Enterprises

So this is it, after three issues it all boils down to this. Our hero Joey is alone, Ares the leader of the Night Pride is seemingly dead, and their friends have been captured by a legion of bloodthirsty beasties. Thankfully since Dan Didio isn’t running Runemaster studios, hope is in sight.

It’s kind of hard to go into detail of just how our young protagonist and his plush friends end up on top, but I can assure it’s a very satisfying ending. There’s a great sequence in which our protagonist tries desperately to save his friends, failing to come together with a cohesive plan until suddenly he realizes just how powerful his imagination is.

Lions, Tigers, and Bears is the rare kind of book very much like Bone and Skeleton Key that young children can enjoy, but is sophisticated enough that it can be enjoyed by an older crowd, even a little hip.

Lions, Tigers, and Bears has been one of the most inspiring stories to come out of the comics industry this year. With very little promotion and no coverage in the pages of Wizard and the Comics Buyers Guide, the people at Runemaster studios have managed to use word of mouth and Internet buzz to make one of the few honest-to-goodness can’t miss events of the year. After the first two issues quickly sold out, The Arizona Republic took notice, and is currently running a 10-part serial which you can read online at href=http://www.runemasterstudios.com/>Runemaster Studio’s Website.

Meanwhile the first issue of the series also has the distinct honor of being one of the first comics made available for download on Sony’s PSP device at
PSPCMX.

It’s easy to see why the book has attracted so much excitement. The coloring is wonderfully bright and vibrant, the character designs are stunning, and the action scenes have a rousing larger-than-life effect. Best of all the plot is a by and large a good natured romp filled with larger than life characters, and a fantastic setting.

In this day and age of chronically-depressed easily-killed superheroes, it’s refreshing to see a book like Lions, Tigers, and Bears finding an audience. It’s precisely what the industry needs right now.

Ensuring even more bang for the reader’s buck, in addition to wrapping up the first mini-series, this issue also features a preview of writer Mike
Bullock’s next series “The Gimoles” which follows the adventures of Elf-like creatures. The book looks to have very much of a modern fairy-tale feeling to it, and features the whimsical art of Theo Bain.

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