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Lions, Tigers and Bears Vol. 2 #4

Posted: Monday, September 10, 2007
By: Martijn Form



Writer: Mike Bullock
Artist: Paul Gutierrez

Publisher: Image Comics


Plot: Ten year old Joey must save The Stuffed Animal Kingdom from the horrible Beasties.

Comments: Comic book delays! We all have to deal with them, and we seem to accept this as part of this industry, even though itís not very professional for an industry that likes to be taken more seriously.

Lions, Tigers and Bears #3 was released sometime in the summer of 2006! Yes, you read that right. A year ago. It took the creative team a year to finish this issue, a delay of such magnitude that it is a surefire way to kill the book and lets its sales fall flat on its face! The last issue stated that the creative team was already working on volume three of this Lions, Tigers and Bears saga.

Volume One was amazing, and I graded Volume Two #1 5 bullets and issue #2 3 bullets. ďA lot of panels could be animation cells. Thatís how good they are,Ē is what I had to say about Jack Lawrence's art. But there has been an artist change, and I read all the explanations on several message boards why this issue was delayed. I have to conclude that the new artist and colorist are killing this book! And it pains me to say that about Lions, Tigers and Bears. It took me two days and a small headache to dare to write this review.

When the final part of a volume is delayed by about a year, the readers are going to abandon the title. Nobody who isn't already a devoted Lion, Tigers and Bears reader will purchase this issue. Nobody! I only picked this up to complete my collection, but it was a horrible experience. And that really pains me.

It isnít easy to create lovely expressions on animal faces, but what Paul Gutierrez brings to the table is ridiculous. By the fourth page the art bothered me so much that it irritated the hell out of me. This book is chock full of animal characters, so facial expressions are important to understand their feelings and emotions. I donít know what Gutierrez's train of thought is, but almost all panels provide the same angles for the animal faces. And on top of that, they all have the same "open-mouth" expression. It's like the artist decided to draw the one facial expression he liked and he copied it over and over and over. Copy-paste and copy-paste again. It doesn't matter if the animal is looking left or right, itís all the same. And to think that the artist put a lot of effort in this! I folded the last panel of page twelve and held it against the light. Identical! And let me state that one is a bear and the other a tigerÖ

The ink lines are a joke. On one page the lines are WAY thicker than they should be, like the art was zoomed in at a later stage or just scanned badly. One of the final pages presents a panel of the Lion, and man, it looks like it is an image pulled right out of a bad kids' coloring book, with those thick ink lines again. The next panel is much better. It feels to me like a panel was added during the last stage of the production of this issue, and the artist didnít have the time for it, so they hired a 9 year old to fill some panels.

If this book is read to you when you were a five year old, my complaints are irrelevant. But as a comic fan who likes to read good material, I have to say that this is a waste of paper.

They should have left this issue on the drawing board and decided not to produce it. That way there would always be a mystery as to what happened to this interesting saga.

I wonder if there will indeed be a third volume of Lions, Tigers and Bears. Maybe in five years or so, but count me out.



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