THE INCREDIBLE BUN, ISSUES #1-2
Writer: Mike Sambrook
Illustrator: Rosie Packwood
Publisher: Madius Comics
WHAT IS IT?
A rags-to-riches, family-friendly story starring a jumbo, fluffy bunny named Bun who struggles to navigate the manipulative world as a boxer in a combat sport called Valleytudo. These first two issues tug at the heartstrings in this ongoing, Kickstarter-funded comic series from Madius Comics.
The Incredible Bun combines the emotional and visual aesthetic of Bojack Horseman with the boxing, sports drama of Rocky.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
In a world that combines anthropomorphic animals with humans, The Incredible Bun follows protagonist Bun as he tries to overcome being an outcast from both his family and society. Feeling rejected, Bun travels to the city in hopes of finding a sense of belonging. The carrot- and train-loving Bun physically defends a young girl against bullies to showcase his natural strength. Consequently, a greedy business-dog named Biggman witnesses the encounter and proceeds to manipulate Bun.
Biggman thrusts the ignorant rabbit into the seedy world of Valleytudo (boxing) with promises of free housing, training, and of course, carrots. The oversized Bun faces both mental and physical challenges and abuse as he brawls with opponents in – and out – of the boxing ring. This sweet underdog story about a ginormous bunny with eyebrows demonstrates how empathy and self-care should supplant avarice and materialism.
Rosie Packwood's endearingly minimalistic artwork and Mike Sambrook's straight-forward dialogue/narration unite with utterly charming results.
Despite Bun not speaking thus far, the unknown, omniscient-narrator technique rounds out Bun's character while allowing readers insight into his internal thought process.
Rob Jones' clear lettering atop the blue background in the narrative boxes adds great personality to the mysterious narrator while making the overarching plot easy to follow.
All of the supporting characters, from the Trump-esque Biggman to femme fatale Kat, intriguingly influence both Bun's character and the narrative.
Packwood's expressive facial and bodily movements delightfully express Bun's affinity for carrots.
Though Bun must endure several rounds of training and boxing matches, Sambrook and Packwood create new scenarios by changing panel placement and through dialogue to eliminate repetition.
The Incredible Bun #2 includes a splash page where Bun works on several areas of training. The flow and clean lines on these pages accentuate Packwood's consistently improving art in the second issue.
I adore the cute terminology and phrases in this world, like "buff bit of fluff" and "as quick as you can eat a carrot," that add to that all-ages appeal.
The boxing matches in #2 are kinetically illustrated and leave a lasting impression on readers.
While the color palate is sometimes limited, colors and shadows visibly generate a difference between Biggman's world, the boxing ring, and Bun's inner turmoil.
Bun's train hat and varying outfits never cease to produce joy for a reader.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
Though we are promised a narrator reveal, issue #2 ends without divulging this information yet. It's a bit disappointing, but the suspense will hopefully pay off in the next installment.
Kat, the elusive, pink-wig-wearing cat, appears as a warning to Bun, but has not yet been given individuality as a character in these first two issues.
A couple of times, the lettering felt a bit cramped. Certain letters overlapped and required me to take a second look to make out the words.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
The Incredible Bun possesses incredible mass appeal. Bun is a realistic protagonist who grapples with inner and outer conflict. Themes of self-identity, racist overtones, sensibility, and understanding one's own self-worth make Bun a vigorously emphatic protagonist.
Bun's quest to discover his place in the world hits all the beginning marks of the Hero's Journey, and you can't help but undergo the toils of his trek along with Bun. The Incredible Bun tenderly approaches sensitive topics while maintaining an undeniable spirit of joviality through its writing and art. The Incredible Bun will make you smile, cry, and laugh as you read the heart-warming tale of this buff ball of fluff.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Papercuts and Inkstains by Mike Sambrook & Robin Jones
Chi's Sweet Home by Kanata Konami
Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai
If you like the art:
Blinker by Rosie Packwood
Funk Soul Samurai by Nick Gonzo
Inkblot by Rusty Gladd & Emma Kubert
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Mike Sambrook – Writer (@Rapiaghi)
Dream Team: Created Madius Comics with Rob Jones where they have collaborated on the popular horror comics, Papercuts and Inkstains and HORRERE.
Award Winner: In 2015, he made the long list for the British Comic Awards for Papercuts and InkstainsS.
Outlander: He resides in the UK.
Rosie Packwood – Illustrator and Colorist (@pocketm0use)
Multitalented: Also part of the Madius Comics publishing team, she writes and illustrates the charming, science-fiction comic, Blinker for Madius.
She strives to create a connection between parents and children alike through the comic medium.
Outlander: She also lives in the UK.
Alexa Renée – Colorist (@monstalexa)
A visual artist who contributed to HORRERE with Madius Comics, and has worked as a colorist on titles like Vampire Wonderland and Together Forever.
She is a strong warrior who's currently in remission/NED from breast cancer.
Outlander: She lives in Milan, Italy.
Rob Jones – Letterer (@robjoneswrites)
Dream Team: Partnered with Mike Sambrook to created Madius Comics and co-wrote Papcuts and Inkstains, Griff Gristle and Ramlock Investigates with Sambrook, to name a few titles.
Award Winner: Along with Sambrook, he also made the 2015 British Comic Awards long list for Papercuts and Inkstains. HORRERE was nominated for two Ghastly Awards in 2016.
He has worked as a letterer for several comic companies such as Image, Humanoids, Heavy Metal, and Scout.
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