Friday, April 8, 2016

Review - Grizzly Shark #1 (@ImageComics)


"What are you a flippin' idiot? Ya don't go wandering in these woods without a gun."

A grizzly bear and a great white shark are two of the most terrifying animals in nature. Some would even consider them forces of nature. Combine the two though and you're likely to get something even more terrifying. Grizzly Shark #1 from Image Comics is just that. The issue is written and illustrated by Ryan Ottley and colored by Ivan Plascencia.

The sold out, cult hit black-and-white issue is back, now in full color! Followed by all-new issues that continue the bloody adventures of the world's most feared animal, the Grizzly Shark.

There are some pretty magnificent beasts found in the forest amidst the trees, but Ottley seems to think that none of them compare to a shark. The concept of a shark terrorizing the woods is certainly new and Ottley maximizes it beyond belief. Ottley moves back and forth between a group of less than savvy campers and the shark as their paths cross on multiple occasions, emphasizing the ferocity of the shark. What's great about the story is how Ottley subtly works in a theme of mankind's hubris in relation to nature, as many of the victims of the shark are in the woods for their own reasons that clearly anger the grizzly shark. Despite the seemingly heavier tone though, Ottley infuses the book with plenty of levity to counteract the terror of a massive land shark.

The artwork is comedically gory. Ottley also handles the illustrations for Grizzly Shark #1 and his work features as much satire in it as the script itself. There's a good amount of gore throughout that's befitting of the story, especially in the rather gratuitous scenes where the Grizzly Shark is finding a few snacks. Otherwise, the artwork is pretty cartoony across the board, adding a sense of joy to the seemingly macabre take on nature attacking man. Ottley lends the comic book a comic strip mentality to it that further grounds the book in the humor of the situation of a shark terrorizing campers in a forest.

Quite frankly, Grizzly Shark #1 is so far out there you have to appreciate it's insanity. There's not really a plot to it other than a shark chasing some of humanity's less intelligent individuals. Ottley's dialogue is entertaining and enjoyable, eschewing seriousness for silliness. Grizzly Shark #1 doesn't really care about being taken seriously and it actually wears that frivolity as a badge of honor.

Grizzly Shark #1 is in stores now.

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