Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Stephen Coughlin writes and draws this black and white comic that, on the surface, appears to be all-age-type story where animals talk and sort out the problems while living in the zoo. It has a very “Madagascar” feel to it. However, by the issue’s end I found this book to lean more towards the classic Morrison/Quitely story, We3. Tracking down this book isn’t too difficult either as you download from Comixology or iTunes or you can purchase a paper copy directly from SLG’s website. If you like a little mystery with some great characterizations that crosses between humans and animals then I urge you to check this book out.
For the most part this issue sets up the characters. The arrival of a panda bear brings out the curiosity in a lot of the animal population at the zoo. The panda provides a backdrop for some of the other animals, such as the battling giraffe couple and the tiger family dynamic to display their personalities as the reader gets a glimpse into their lives at the zoo. However, just as many of the characters get their footing, Coughlin yanks the rug out with a tremendous cliffhanger that promises to launch this series into overdrive.
The opening issue is good and that is primarily because of the characterizations. Whether it’s the seemingly stuck up panda or the tough guy giraffe there are a wide range of animals with distinct traits to make them all unique personalities. The book is actually layered with subplots as well, which helps to round out the book and have more than just a main story to focus on.
Coughlin’s style is somewhere between Mike Mignola and Humberto Ramos. There’s the exaggeration factor from both but he has a little bit of the creepiness that Mignola shows while at the same time having the those bright and fun moments in the vein of Ramos. The comic has a lot of animals talking, and sometimes about serious topics, and the art really has to sell these emotions that human-like but from animals. I think the art tells a great story that lines up with the story nicely.
The first five issues for this series is out so you can certainly catch up quickly. It seems impossible to read the first issue and not want to pick up the second just based on the cliffhanger. With a low introductory price it seems like an easy decision to pick this book up and give it a try. I definitely recommend checking this comic book out.
4 out of 5 Geek Goggles