Thursday, September 8, 2016

Review - Mr. Teacher and Mr. Panda #1

"You get fired too?"

Pandas are fascinating creature with a penchant for lazing around, climbing trees and dealing with whatever life throws at them. Doing the last thing on that list gets really interesting when the panda can talk and has a teacher for a friend, as in Mr. Teacher and Mr. Panda #1. The issue is written by Andrew Brattica, illustrated by Alan Sharp, Joe Badon, Wayne Lowdy, Sarah Danahy, Ben Doane and Michael Saver and lettered by Saver.

Do you like dumb jokes? Do you like pandas? Well, If you answered "yes", "no" or "sort of" to either of those questions then, WOW, this is the perfect comic book for you! Like if Calvin and Hobbes were adults, "The Radically Ordinary Adventures of Mr. Teacher and Panda" is a collection of dumb jokes about the easily angered Mr. Teacher and his best friend, a panda!

The concept of a human paired up with a anthropomorphic animal isn't exactly anything new and Brattica doesn't seek to reinvent the wheel in
Mr. Teacher and Mr. Panda #1. The issue is really a series of seemingly normal situations made a tad more outlandish because they involve a panda. Brattica's script is pretty barebones in that regard, relying instead on the humor found in the absurdity of those situations. Each story is relatively short and allows Mr. Teacher and Mr. Panda #1 to operate a rapid-fire pace. And there's really no overarching plot holding the smaller stories together which reduces the pressure to ruin the one-offs by forcing them together.

The artwork in Mr. Teacher and Mr. Panda #1 is pretty varied. It's all black and white which definitely fits with the aesthetics of a panda. A lot of the artwork is pretty crude in nature, but the stories themselves are relatively simplistic so it works out. And the artwork in some stories is more stylistic than that of other stories, but--again--the relatively simple nature of the style reinforces the narrative that the stories themselves are meant to be easygoing.

Mr. Teacher and Mr. Panda #1 accomplishes exactly what it intends to by simply being a bunch of jokes about a man and a panda hanging out and living life. Mr. Teacher and Mr. Panda are two halves of a whole, both of whom have very different reactions to certain life events that makes for some amusing tales. Brattica's anthology approach is sound and doesn't let any one story ever take itself too seriously. The artwork is equally as lighthearted and emphasizes the humor of the situation over crafting intricately detailed characters and settings. Mr. Teacher and Mr. Panda #1 is a pretty light read that's meant to be enjoyed for what it is.

Mr. Teacher and Mr. Panda #1 is available now.


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