If you ask me there isn’t a wide enough variety of comedic comic books. You have Deadpool of course, but what about miniseries that push the boundaries? Sure there’s Man vs. Rock but dammit I want my comedy in high detail! We get just that this week in Grizzly Shark, but is it good?
Grizzly Shark #1 (Image Comics)
This is in some ways a sequel to a 2010 comic by Ryan Ottley and Jason Howard titled Sea Bear and Grizzly Shark #1 only this time it’s being reprinted in full color with additional issues. While Sea Bear doesn’t appear in this issue (it’s all Grizzly Shark baby) we’ll get more of that character next month and eventually they fight each other. What’s it about? A god damn grizzly shark is on the prowl, eating campers and a crew of yokels try to escape its wrath. Spoiler alert: they don’t. Well not all of them anyway!
Why does this book matter?
If there are any universal comic book truths, one of them is that Ryan Ottley draws some fantastic gore. He’s the reason Invincible made strings of intestines and beating hearts bursting from chests look so damn cool in the last 10 years. Ottley writes, draws and letters this issue (with fantastic colors by Ivan Plascencia) so you know you’re in for some over-the-top gore.
The baby lived!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
If you like your comics over-the-top you will love this. A rampaging grizzly shark is jumping out of bushes and taking bites out of lots of people. Meanwhile a truck filled with hickish people manage to acquire cinnamon bear jubilee ice cream a day early and the disgusting stuff ends up saving their lives! Humor includes a boy not dying when his organs fall out of himself, a mentally handicapped oaf yucking it up with his friends, and a hell of a lot of intense gore.
The art is fantastic, with some inventive grizzly shark attacks throughout. It’s actually quite interesting to see Ottley’s work and how his art has evolved since he originally drew this. Characters are drawn with a slightly thinner line, and faces somewhat less detailed than his current stuff. Aside from the great looking gore Ottley nails the comedic timing and if you don’t find yourself chuckling you probably dislike fun.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Let’s face it, this is lowest common denominator humor. This is the kind of stuff Sharknado fans will love, but many simply won’t like in the slightest. If you don’t find insane gore funny in any context steer clear from this series.
I certainly found myself wishing there was more to this issue. Expecting a story of some sort—and more of an explanation of this grizzly shark—will get you nowhere. There is no explanation, there is no backstory, and there certainly is no reason to any of this. It’s exploitive and outrageous and if you’re in the wrong mood you probably won’t like it one bit. For a comic entitled Grizzly Shark there sure isn’t much to the eponymous character.
Why does his laugh make me laugh?
Is It Good?
Like Ryan Ottley’s work? Buy this. Like outrageous gore and lowbrow humor? Buy this. Expecting a story beyond excuses to see the Grizzly Shark eviscerate people? Steer clear for the Grizzly Shark will not bite you in the funny bone!