Writer/artist: Jamie Smart
Publisher: Slave Labor Graphics
Trying to apply any kind of critical standard to this comic is really quite difficult and probably futile to boot. It’s a humour book, plain and simple, and succeeds admirably on that level. Bear has all the hallmarks of the newspaper comic strip: the cute animals, the domestic setting, the cartoony artwork. In fact, it always reminds me of Garfield, if Garfield were blue and had regular psychotic incidents. Bear is to Garfield as Meet the Feebles is to The Muppets, only with less toilet humour and more ultraviolence.
This issue’s stories are all tremendously funny, but the highlight for me is the last main story, a hilarious little homage/pisstake of zombie stories. There’s not much to it but the humour is as infectious as the zombie contagion, and the last page makes me laugh out loud every time.
It’s so refreshing to be able to sit down with a comic and not have to worry about keeping up with story lines and character development, to just enjoy it as a self-contained experience. The violence and vulgarity probably means that I should consider this a guilty pleasure, but a pleasure it is nonetheless.
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