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11 April 2010

Josh Latta's A RABBIT IN KING ARTHUR'S FOOD COURT

A Rabbit in King Arthur's Food Court: A Rashy Rabbit Adventure No. 6 by Josh Latta.
Published by Wide Awake Press.
7 x 8" minicomic.  32 pages.  Black and white with color cover.

I was very excited to get this sixth issue of Rashy Rabbit in the mail.  This book is such a fun read that after I finished the last page I immediately turned to the first and started over again.  This book is printed in the same style and format as the last issue which is to say it looks great.  It looks about as good as a minicomic can look without any gimmicks.  The wrap-around cover is not only lovely but hilarious.  Great design.  Great colors.  I absolutely love that cover title banner.  Very cool.

I can't believe this is the sixth Rashy Rabbit adventure.  Well, really, it's like his third adventure.  The first three issues were not really adventures.  It was with issue four that the thing really took off in the action comedy direction.  I kind of look at the first three issues as pilot attempts.  But still, six minicomics with the same lead character and most of the same supporting cast is pretty rare in minicomics.  The most amazing thing about it is that Latta continues to shake things up and push himself as an artist and storyteller.  

While Rashy is still the same working class slacker adrift in a sea of bullies and rampant consumerism, Latta has changed the look and style of the book with every issue.  This issue sees the biggest change in character design yet.  Rashy has evolved from an edgy underground comix rabbit to more of a Smurf with rabbit ears.  And it works.  It looks great but more importantly it is perfect for the kind of physical comedy Latta is working in now.  Almost every panel has a physical gag and that demands a clean style.  Personally, my favorite looking Rashy was either from the third or fourth issue but I think this version is the best for this action adventure comedy stuff. The motions are perfect and every gag works in a way that would get muddy with a lot of overdrawing.  This also the best overall looking book so far.  The inks and lettering are consistent, bold and confident. 

The storytelling is also very sharp.  And it would have to be to pull off the zany plot in 32 pages.  This issue finds Rashy working in one of those Medieval themed restaurants with knights and horses and jousting and all that nonsense.  Rashy's girl Honey Bunny is putting the pressure on Rashy to buy her a ring. So, like clockwork, Rashy will make a series of bad decisions which will of course lead to hilarious slapstick adventure featuring knights, drug dealers, cops and a baby riding a horse through a shopping mall.  The pacing, scene transitions, montages and action scenes are all seamless.  And there is a lot of action.  Fights, guns, jousting, swords, horses, a helicopter, car crashes, police brutality... it's got it all.

The characters are very enjoyable in this book.  Rashy and his girl Honey Bunny are funny and Jimmy acts as kind of stoned Obi-Wan Kenobi.  The supporting cast of jousters and gangstas are also a lot of fun.  It seems like Latta has found a cast and style that he can have a lot of fun with and is letting it go in whatever crazy direction it takes him.  I personally hope he will stick to this style for a while or at least another issue or two but the only safe assumption I can make is that Rashy Rabbit will continue to surprise me.

 Your best pal ever,

Shannon Smith

* Image stolen from lattaland.com because my scanner is like, way over there and stuff.
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