EDITORS NOTE: I'm over "best of" lists. I came to the realization that I personally only read them to see if the list agrees with my opinions and if it does not then I instantly forget about it. I assume that I'm not the only one that sees them this way. So instead of a meaningless list I am posting a series of eleven individual reviews of comics I liked in 2011. These comics will be reviewed in no particular order. It was not my intention to wait until half way through the year 2012 to post about these 11 comics but, events occurred. Thanks for reading.
Rashy Rabbit Droppin' Anchor by Josh Latta.
7x8" black and white minicomic with full color card stock cover. 32 pages.
Published by Wide Awake Press.
$4.00. On sale here.
I was probably one of the first people to read this comic. My pal Josh Latta gave me a copy way back in April 2011 before Fluke. I started this review shortly thereafter but then things got crazy at work/life/Earth/Narnia/the astral plane etc. Now here we are over a year latter and I'm finally finishing this review.
For the past several years Rashy Rabbit has made my "best of" list. There are very few ongoing indie comics series today and fewer still of the quality of Rashy Rabbit. What is even more impressive to me is that Latta pushes himself farther and farther with each issue. What began as auto-bio comics disguised as funny animals has transformed into an ambitious adult comedy adventure comic. (Which may possibly still be auto-bio disguised as funny animals?) And this, the seventh issue in the series, is the most ambitious yet.
The story begins with Rashy screwing up a vacation with his girl Honey Bunny by getting thrown into some some sort of pre-industrial era airport prison for trying to take a bottle of conditioner on an airplane. Who knew airports had their own Mask of Zorro styled prisons? Josh Latta that's who. So Honey Bunny dumps Rashy (again) and our hero turns to booze and the guidance of his pal Jimmy. (You remember crazy off-the-grid Jimmy from previous issues right?) Jimmy suggests that Rashy go on a sea adventure and become a man. And honestly, it's probably the most mature decision Rashy has made in all seven of these comics.
This of course is all just an excuse for Latta to draw a hilarious seafaring adventure comic. And that's fine by me. Rashy goes on a sea quest with a Cap'n Patoootie and crazy hijinks ensue. There is some solid writing going on here. Rashy and Honey Bunny each have their own dramas and it all comes together in a Popeye meets Little Mermaid mash up. Almost every panel features a good physical gag and funny dialog. Latta, gets to draw boats, bunnies, boobies and all the stuff you need for a solid comic book.
When I think of this series as a whole I still have a soft spot for issues three and four. In those two issues Latta had perfected the drama, comedy and slice of life blend he was working in at the time. I could really relate to those issues. But with issue five (Redskin Rashy) Latta totally abandoned that world of emo indie alt comics and dived head first into the kind of adventure stories you would be more likely to find in an Uncle Scrooge comic. But he brought along all of Rashy's baggage so it retains all the adult humor and subversive Easter eggs of the earlier issues. (Translation: sex and drugs.)
It is a very rich comic. It really does everything I want a comic book to do and I read them over and over. These Rashy Rabbit comics have never seen my bookshelf or the dark side of a long box. I always have them lying around ready for a quick flip through if I need a laugh. And that is what comics should be. Well, maybe not all comics. Sometimes I need a brutal Howard Chaykin comic or I need to get lost in Paul Pope's mad inks and sometimes maybe I just need to see Captain America punch Wolverine in the face. But if the world could just give me stoned out rabbit comics for adults and have them available at the nearest gas station check-out line at least once a month, well, I might not have to drink so much.
My recent intronetings have uncovered that Josh has a new full color Rashy Rabbit collection coming out (and/or possibly available right now). And this Droppin' Anchor story is in that book. Josh says the color makes these comics so much better that I will want to burn these minicomics I love so much. So yeah, you should try to buy that. Josh has also been posting color Rashy pages online as what the youngs like to call a webcomic. You should check that out as well. And I do believe that Josh will be on Indie Island this month at Heroes Con as well as McGintyfest. Whatever the Don Heck that is. You should probably get in on all of that. I'll even let you buy me a drink.
(Mr. Latta with the new full color Rashy Rabbit collection. Stolen from the facebook.)
Your best pal ever,
p.s. Say you want a leader but you can't seem to make up your mind. I think you'd better close it and let me guide you to my twitter feed.
p.p.s. Let's pretend we went to high school together on facebook
p.p.p.s. Google + is another place you can read the same thing I posted here.
p.p.p.p.s. I'll tumblr for ya.