Banana Sunday #1
by Root Nibot & Colleen Coover
Kirby Steinberg is the new girl at Forest Edge High School, but she's not just any new girl. Kirby comes with three talking monkeys in tow: Chuck, the super-intelligent orangutan ego; Go-Go, the always hungry gorilla id; and Knobby, the sensitive babe-magnet monkey superego. Kirby claims that her three talking monkey companions are the results of her scientist father's experiments with accellerated leaning abilities, but Nickels, Kirby's new best friend and reporter for the school paper, suspects that may not be the whole truth. Add in Martin, the cute boy photographer who comes to Kirby's aid when her clutziness gets the better of her, and you have the makings of a fun series. There's a general atmosphere of fun and the humor is often gentle and subtle, except for Go-Go whose antics at times are downright laugh-out-loud funny. The big attraction for this book of course is the wonderful art from Colleen Coover, stepping out from the erotic-comix ghetto to prove that she can do high school situational and physical comedy for an all-ages audience. It's all there: figures, backgrounds, storytelling, and a sureness of line; Coover makes it look easy, and gets to draw plenty of cute girls and talking monkeys. I'm sure you'll be tempted to wait for the trade, but there's plenty enough story and fun here to justify spending $3 on each individual issue; then you can get the inevitable trade when it comes out and share it with all your friends.
Rating: 4 (of 5)
Go-Go Gorilla and the Jungle Crew Summer Fun Special
by Mike Hall, Dustin Evans, and David Hedgecock
In Jungle City, humans live side-by-side with a variety of anthropomorphs, wherfe they're just as comfortable swinging to work on vines as they are driving in their wooden cars. Protecting the citizens of Jungle City are the super-heroic Go-Go Gorilla and the other heroes of the Jungle Crew. The first story in this comic tells the origin of Go-Go Gorilla (yes, another gorilla named Go-Go--must be something in the water!), a shy museum custodian named Simeon Sapien who is transformed by a radioactive meteor to fight crime with super powers. The second story introduces us to the rest of the Jungle Crew: the speedster, the aquatic character, the Egyptian queen, etc. There's a very old-school feel here, with a style of story that seems to be deliberately patterned on DC super-hero comics of the 50s & 60s; heck, both stories even have a male character who is too shy to ask out the obviously interested female character on a date. At the same time the comic also seems to be targeted towards kids, with extras in the back including a word puzzle, a maze, and a connect-the-dots picture. The art has a nice cartoonish feel, and they do a good job at visualizing the exotic Jungle City.
Rating: 3 (of 5)