There are some pretty great books out across the board this week, but these are two special issues that caught my eye. For more highlights from the week, check out ‘What To Look Forward To’. And now, without further ado…
I Hate Fairyland #13
Written by Skottie Young, Art by Skottie Young with guest artist Dean Rankine, Color by Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Larry! Larrigon? Poor Larrigon.
Coming to you in the middle of Gert’s “goodness” arc, a Larry-centric issue! Fairyland’s greatest guide dozes off on the way to another adventure, and dreams of life that was and what could have been.
Larry’s dream sequence was drawn by guest artist Dean Rankine, well known for several Australian comics and kids books as well as many contributions to Simpsons comics. Given his cartoony-style along with the subject matter, this read to me like any classic Ren and Stimpy episode. The dream quickly moves through Larry’s life, from when he was born, through when he was supposed to have met Gert, to a series of decisions there is no coming back from.
This issue is a treat inside of an already remarkable series, and Young shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. If you haven’t read any of this series yet, this is a good jump-on point, but I cannot recommend the rest of the series enough. I mean, issue #12 shows Gert and Larry as samurais, in an homage to Lone Wolf and Cub. How can you pass on that?
Shirtless Bear Fighter #1 (of 5)
Written by Jody Leheup & Sebastian Girner, Art by Nil Vendrell, Color by Mike Spicer.
Some titles ambiguity leave room for imagination. “Saga” implies something epic, but nothing specific. “Invincible” suggests a superhero who is hard to kill, but not much else.
Then comes “Shirtless Bear Fighter.” With that title, you know what you’re getting into: Partial nudity, fighting bears. (Well, eventually it becomes partial…) In a world where humans and bears share similar sentience, only one man can protect Major City and its citizens from impending bear invasion. That man is Shirtless Bear Fighter. From his first *BEAR PUNCH* to the moment he finally puts on pants, you know he means business.
With a title like that, I figured it was going to be a bit silly at times. What I didn’t expect was how hilarious it would actually be. Playing with several common tropes (rugged stoic tough guy, old cop/new cop, mankind is heartless to nature), Leheup & Girner still keep the story fresh with no shortage of laughs, both quiet chuckles and ‘out louds’. The art and color compliment the writing well, with great facial expressions and action sequences. I can’t immediately recall any of these creators previous work I have read before, but I am definitely going to be looking for more. And you should too.
That’s it for now, for more recommendations and comic stuff follow me on Twitter @4ColorPhil