Tag Archives: jim davis

Review: Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #26

SquirrelGirlCoverUnbeatable Squirrel Girl takes a little break in issue 26 for a special in-universe zine comic written and drawn by various heroes, villains, and denizens of the Marvel Universe. In real life, they are all written by Ryan North with Erica Henderson switching roles with her Jughead collaborator Chip Zdarsky to pen a surprisingly sultry Howard the Duck story. It’s a fun sampler that mostly hit and very little miss from the much vaunted series of three panel Galactus gag strips by Garfield‘s Jim Davis to Anders Nilsen and Soren Iverson’s poignant story of Wolverine befriending a Sentinel and shotgunning a beer with his adamantium claws. The series Unbeatable Squirrel Girl has a lot of fantastic action, jokes, and the occasional superhero parody, but it’s a book where Doreen listens to both her opponents and allies and tries to work things out with eating nuts and kicking butts. S

So, it’s fitting, we get this comic that is written by a wacky range of POVs beginning with Squirrel Girl herself who stutters through the intro about his being a fundraiser zine. We get to listen to Kraven, hear Spider-Man’s retort, and see the world through Tippytoe’s eyes, which is drawn and colored in an adorable manner  Madeline McGrane’s art and colors make this frame story definitely look like a zine you might pick up at the local coffee shop or one of those fancy schmancy zine stores in bigger stories. It’s followed up by Chip Zdarsky going the closest he’ll ever get to his work on Sex Criminals in a mainstream comic with Erica Henderson doubling as a film noir director, but more awkward. They use close-ups and small panels of Howard the Duck and his femme fatale/client like they’re egging Marvel editorial to linger on this scene more while adding a funny caption. Zdarsky doing Big Two interiors is a big treat, and he barely holds back.

Tom Fowler’s Brain Drain story is a nice showcase of the underrated Unbeatable Squirrel Girl supporting character and hews the closest to Henderson’s usual style on the book. His take on Brain Drain is philosophical, adorable, and structured like the computer science programs that the character loves. It’s oddly motivational too and worth a reread thanks to its erudite writing style. Speaking of rereads, Carla Speed McNeil draws a Loki comic that only makes sense forwards and backwards and is a great example of how the comics medium allows for flexibility of meaning using Loki as a litmus test. It’s a wonderful double page spread, and the best Loki story since Journey into Mystery.

After this, Michael Cho draws a Kraven the Hunter comic/Spider-Man diss story, which is a pretty fun riff off “Kraven’s Last Hunt” and features dead presidents. His art has a light hearted old school vibe while having a subversive take on superhero/supervillain relationships kind of like the main Unbeatable Squirrel Girl title, but from the bad guy’s perspective. It’s followed up by a one page retort from Spider-Man with some gorgeous, yet still funny digital painting work from Rahzzah, who teams up later in the book to do Nancy Whitehead’s photo collage comic with the help of North, who channels Dinosaur Comics in the strip. It’s a well-designed remix story that will make the non-artists reading this comic smile and the kind of mash-up that you would find in a real zine.

NilsonWolverine

But the heavy hitter of the bunch is Anders Nilsen and Soren Iverson’s Wolverine story that is fitting for an artist who had done a comic called Poetry is Useless. Anders Nilsen has a minimalist Euro style perfect for a comic about Wolverine getting talked out of killing a Sentinel, who challenges him to look past his shiny mutant killing exterior and team up with him to beat up some kaiju. (Sadly, this part of the story is off panel.) Wolverine gets a big epiphany moment when he realizes that he’s “hating and fearing” the Sentinel just like the X-Men have been treated for most of their career. This story is proof that more Fantagraphics and Drawn and Quarterly guys should draw superhero comics.

Following this weighty, yet fun story is a couple of candy confections. Unbeatable Squirrel Girl colorist Rico Renzi draws an adorable and faux edgy Batman parody starring the one and only Tippytoe. It pokes fun at Batman’s angsty backstory as well as the fact that Tippytoe always plays second banana. Renzi’s art style is similar to the cartoon The Amazing World of Gumball with lush digital backgrounds and colors. Finally, Jim Davis, whose work I was familiar with eons before I ever opened a Marvel comic, transposes the classic Garfield and Jon relationship to Galactus and the Silver Surfer. It’s the same dad-ish, three panel punchline jokes, but told in a more cosmic key, and Davis has a lot of fun showing Galactus doing his planet devouring, face stuffing thing. His literal eye popping Silver Surfer has a similar manic energy to Robin Williams’ Genie in Disney’s Aladdin.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #26 is a real treat as independent cartoonists, the creator of Garfield, and even the book’s colorist get to take a stab at some of the more familiar faces in the Marvel Universe while also giving Squirrel Girl’s supporting cast a moment in the sun. It’s sometimes poignant and always funny.

Story: Ryan North, Erica Henderson Art: Madeline McGrane, Chip Zdarsky, Tom Fowler, Carla Speed McNeil, Michael Cho, Anders Nilsen, Rico Renzi, Jim Davis Colors: Madeline McGrane, Chip Zdarsky, Rico Renzi, Rahzzah,Soren Iverson
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.0 Overall:9.2 Recommendation: Read

Preview: Garfield #20

Garfield #20

Written by Mark Evanier
Art Gary Barker
SC, 32pgs, FC, SRP: $3.99
COVER A: Gary Barker
COVER B: Jim Davis

We’re got a holiday season treat for you — Pet Force! Planet Dorkon’s finest are back for an all-new adventure and the fur will fly.

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Preview: Garfield #19

Garfield #19

Written by Mark Evanier
Art Gary Barker
SC, 32pgs, FC, SRP: $3.99
COVER A: Gary Barker
COVER B: Jim Davis

Garfield and the gang have plenty to give thanks for, and we’re going to share two all-new stories this month, including the gang getting into some turkey day shenanigans, and the next chapter of the Lasagna Monster saga!

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Preview: Garfield #18

Garfield #18

Written by Mark Evanier
Art Gary Barker
SC, 32pgs, FC, SRP: $3.99
COVER A: Gary Barker
COVER B: Jim Davis

We’ve seen Garfield face off with some scary foes in this series: creatures made of everything from snow to lasagna. Garfield has come out on top so far, but does he have what it takes to defeat…a Ti-gor?

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Preview: Garfield #16

Garfield #16

Written by Mark Evanier
Art Gary Barker
SC, 32pgs, FC, SRP: $3.99
COVER A: Gary Barker
COVER B: Jim Davis
Diamond Code:MAY13 0966

As the summer heats up, we’ve heard your response to the awesome guest artists who have been having fun with the gang each month. This time, we have a very special friend helping out, as Lacey Micallef drops by to draw an all-new story. The popular internet artist joins forces with the world’s most famous cat —this is going to be awesome.

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Preview: Garfield #15

Garfield #15

Written by Mark Evanier
Art Gary Barker
SC, 32pgs, FC, SRP: $3.99
COVER A: Gary Barker
COVER B: Jim Davis
Diamond Code: MAY13 0966

Hide your teddy bears (and, of course, the lasagna)! As summer heats up, make sure you’ve got all the essentials for a day at the beach: sunscreen, a swimsuit, and the latest issue of GARFIELD! This month, guest artist Genevieve FT joins us for the back-up story and this month’s cover! Enjoy a lazy summer day with the Fat Cat!

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Preview: Garfield #14

Garfield #14

Written by Mark Evanier
Art Gary Barker
SC, 32pgs, FC, SRP: $3.99
COVER A: Gary Barker
COVER B: Jim Davis
Diamond Code: APR13 0971

As fun as lounging on the beach and catching rays can be, an all-new issue of GARFIELD will make your summer vacation even better. This month we welcome guest artist Courtney Bernard to our jamboree, and her back-up story will rock your world!

Preview: Garfield #13

Garfield #13

Written by Mark Evanier
Art Gary Barker
SC, 32pgs, FC, SRP: $3.99
COVER A: Gary Barker
COVER B: Jim Davis
Diamond Code: MAR13 0957

More madness from Garfield and the gang! April showers bring May flowers…and pizza, and burgers, and of course lasagna! With two all-new AWESOME stories this month, this is one issue you won’t wanna miss!

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Preview: Garfield #12

Garfield #12

Written by Mark Evanier
Art Gary Barker
SC, 32pgs, FC, SRP: $3.99
COVER A: Gary Barker
COVER B: Jim Davis
Diamond Code: FEB13 0832

After last month’s trip to Planet Dorkon, we head back to Earth with two all-new hilarious short stories. Springtime is in full bloom, and so is Garfield’s appetite!

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Preview – Garfield #11

Garfield #11

Written by Mark Evanier
Art Gary Barker
SC, 32pgs, FC, SRP: $3.99
COVER A: Gary Barker
COVER B: Jim Davis
Diamond Code: JAN13 0980

PET FORCE TEAMS UP WITH FRED HEMBECK!!! Yes, fans, we are returning to Planet Dorkon for another Pet Force adventure! This time, they’re joined by one of the most far-out artists in the entire galaxy: Fred Hembeck! Don’t miss out on the rare variant cover as Hembeck visits Planet Dorkon!

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