Page 45 Review by Stephen
Collects Bunny vs. Monkey Books One & Two.
"What are these things? Can I eat them?"
"And no, you can't."
Haha! Immaculate comedy timing as ever!
From the creator of LOUSHKIN and FISH HEAD STEVE, and abducted from the pages of the weekly PHOENIX comic for kids, watch bewildered beasts Bunny, Monkey, Weenie, Skunky, Pig, Metal Steve, Le Fox and Action Beaver "Eeek!", "Shriek!", "Screeeam!", "Ftung!" and "Whoosh!" their way through two-page parcels of manic mentalism.
Monkey will not tolerate anything vaguely lovely. Woodland bluebells? I don't think so.
"SHRIEK! Monkey, what are you doing?"
"What does it look like I'm doing? I'm lawnmowing these things into oblivion!"
"But they're beautiful!"
"They're a virus! They make me feel awkward!"
"Nope, it won't do. This place is becoming disgusting and pretty, and I find it offensive. I'm taking these hedgehogs and I'm going to prang everyone's bottom with them."
Like a sugar-stuffed blackcurrant cordial, this is chaos concentrate distilled for mass destruction and maximum disaster with Monkey enlisting Skunky to build ever more insane inventions like Caterpillarzilla consuming every last trace of nature with its nitro-chomp! Action Beaver's vocabulary consists solely of sound effects while Weenie the squirrel and Pig the pig have the collective memory of a goldfish.
None of which would work were the cartooning anything short of the most carefully controlled and cleverly conducted insanity. Each element within a panel is just-so: the sound effects are arranged like scores on a sheet of music.
"It was a quiet morning, until
Even the volume levels are precisely regulated. It's not as easy as it looks. On the surface it's a bunch of hyperactive delinquents making Bunny's love of a quiet life a loud and bombastic nightmare.
Okay, at its heart it's also a bunch of hyperactive delinquents making Bunny's love of a quiet life a loud and bombastic nightmare. But chaos needs order to work so well, and bonkers needs logic to thrive.
"It's lucky I lost the map, or this might be the wrong way!"
Stick that in your sat nav and steer it.
"Oh, I blocked your toilet by the way."
And Bunny vs. Monkey Book Two...
Bunny vs. Monkey Book One...
"Stop being so stupid."
"I don't know how!"
He really doesn't. None of them do!
"Pig, how would you... uh... what are you doing?"
"I'm trying to catch jelly on my head!" *SPLAT* "Did it!"
"Can I ask why?"
"I, um... Oh. I forgot."
"Pig, how would you like a life of adventure, danger and excitement?"
"Will it hurt?"
"YES! But it will also be very funny."
From the pages of BUNNY VS MONKEY BOOK ONE and the creator of FISH HEAD STEVE, the certifiable delinquents are back: Bunny, Monkey, Weenie, Skunky, Pig, Le Fox, Metal Steve and Action Beaver - the idiots to entertain you!
Ogle the pink Octo-Blivion! Learn about artist lie-sense! Then forget about it immediately thanks to Skunky's mind-wiping Memory Ray.
"Last I remember, I was on the toilet.
"Hang on a minute. Monkey's don't use toilets."
Normally at this point I'd go off on one, bellowing like Brian Blessed about how they all "Eeek!" "Ptoomph!" "Fwooosh!" "Shriek!" "Screech!" "Splat! "Bosh!" "Pschh!" "Crunch! And "P-tingg!" their way through these pugilism-packed pages, for this comic is louder than TV's Tom & Jerry but infinitely more inventive.
Please don't mistake the lack of a volume control for an absence of sophistication. Anarchy like this needs to be strictly controlled, especially when you've only two or three pages to play with. But not only is the choreography as tight as you like - often with multiple reactive expressions and gesticulations to make you giggle with glee - Smart also still manages to pack in spectacle after spectacle and even finds room for running gags within the same stories, my favourite being the "outside variables" ("Eeek! Variables!") which will put paid to each individual's carelessly laid plans and culminate in a "lemony waft".
Then, just when you thought Smart couldn't work that one further, the events are reprised quite unexpectedly in a ridiculously clever climax called 'The Small Matter Of The End Of The World' which involves brain-twisting time travel and the return of that mind-wiping Memory Ray as inventor Skunky from the future meets himself in the past over and again in order to avert disaster he caused in the first place.
"Have I invented the Memory Ray yet?"
" Yes! Give it to me! I must remove all knowledge of the Doomsday Device from your brain!"
"Oh, hang on. If I remove it from your brain, then I'll forget it too."
"Hello, have we met? Are you me from the future?"
"I suppose so. But I can't remember why I came here."
"Let me have a go in your time machine. I wonder how it works?"
"Me too. Let me know if you find out."
All of which is impressive enough, but wait until you come to the final two episodes, the Christmas and New Year specials, which introduce a brand-new element to the series which could change everything and hint at a subplot which may - seriously - send a shiver down your spine.
Back to the beginning, however, and Skunky has invented the Wish Cannon which fires whatever you want: cakes, kittens, ham and sauerkraut... It even fires fire and I'm afraid Monkey's got his mitts on it.
"BOW DOWN, WOODLAND IDIOTS! YOUR NEW LEADER MONKEY HOLDS ALL THE POWER NOW!"
"I'll swamp you that thing for this cake."
"Ooh, I do like cake."