Review: ‘Bunny Versus Monkey’ More Of The Funny, Funny, FUNNY
by Richard Bruton
Funny. Funny. FUNNY.
There you go. That’s the review.
Funny. Funny. FUNNY.
Welcome to the world of Jamie Smart’s Bunny Vs Monkey – you’re going to love it here.
Yep – Jamie Smart’s Bunny Vs Monkey – the funniest thing you can read. It’s that simple.
When last we spoke of Jamie Smart‘s Bunny Vs Monkey, it was with the first volume of the newly reformatted volumes, repackaging Smart’s ridiculously silly tale of these little forest creatures into something more acceptable, so it seems, to the “yoof” of today, the Dav Pilkey, Raina Telgemier-reading millions that they are.
Now, we’re on to volume two and three of these funny, funny, funny comic books, the reformatted versions of the BvM volumes previously published as The Stench, The Wobbles, Destructo, and Apocalypse. And yes, it’s more of the same, which means it’s more of the FUNNY. FUNNY. FUNNY.
You want an example? Well, here’s ‘The Biggest, Mostest Enormousest Explosion In The World!’
Yep, there’s your Bunny Vs Monkey right there.
BOOMTANIUM! – in a carrot (but of course!)
Skunky showing off the “The Biggest, Mostest Enormousest Explosion In The World!”
And then, brilliant use of a page turn and the “30 seconds later…” caption to deliver the gag.
And so much on that final page to unpack… Action Beaver’s chomp, the comical explosion, Skunky’s triumphant, ‘MORE SCIENCE!’ line, and then, perhaps best of all, summing up one character in one perfect moment… that sigh…
It’s silly, it’s ridiculous, it’s clever, it’s just darned wonderful. I could pick any single page and there’d be more gags there per page of comics than you’d find anywhere else. It’s consistently been the funniest thing out there for kids (and adults in the know) for many, many years now. Seriously, that’s it. It’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever read.
But, just in case you’ve not had the pleasure yet… Welcome to the worlds of Bunny, Monkey, Weenie, Pig, Le Fox, Metal Steve, Action Beaver, Skunky, and all the rest of them. Essentially, each week’s strip (it’s published first in the essential weekly Phoenix Comic) is just Smart thinking up the latest, the silliest situation he can put the cast into, whether that’s Monkey doing something daft, Bunny’s continuing desire to just get a little peace and quiet, Weenie and Pig proving, yet again, that they don’t have a functioning brain cell between them, or Skunky unleashing his latest machine of marvellous menace.
Sure, there are threads of storyline that run through the books, but they’re always secondary to the chaotic silliness of the woodland anarchy unfolding. You know, like this…
Of course, that’s not to say that Smart’s doing something one-dimensional, not at all. Putting aside, for a moment, that just being able to do this sort of gag based strip, week in, week out, without ever seeming to run out of invention is a unique skill in itself, he’s been able to put in moments of sheer wonder and joy, introduced themes and some longer storylines, particularly the whole story of just how Monkey came into these woods and the connection with MeanieCorp.
Heck, you even get a few strips that were absolute heartbreakers – I’m not going to spoiler it… but Le Fox, oh Le Fox.
But generally, it’s all about the sheer playfulness of Bunny Vs Monkey, that’s what makes it work, that’s what keeps me coming back to it every week, every book – Smart just has the funny in spades, every couple of pages is just full of the sort of silliness that will make your lives lighter, fill your hearts with glee, make things seem so much better.
And that’s just you. Hell, you’re not who they’re even meant for. No, these aren’t your comics, not one bit of it. These are comics for your kids, perfect comics for them, chaotic bit of madness, utter anarchy on each and every page, all perfectly put together by Smart, who has this sublime ability to reach into the mind of every single tween out there and grab just the right amount of madness and weirdness and perfect silliness.
Course, if you’re smart, you’ll buy them, read them, love them and then go out and buy them all over again for any kids you know – give the gift of comics!
Just trust me on this, when you read Bunny Vs Monkey, and you really should, it’s as though Jamie Smart has found a way to rip away the years and mainline you straight into a kid’s brain and make you find the funny in everything. Trust me, reading Bunny Vs Monkey will keep you young.
Bunny Versus Monkey Book 2 – The Human Invasion
Bunny Versus Monkey Book 3 – The League of Doom
Written and drawn by Jamie Smart.
Adaptation, additional artwork and colours by Sammy Boras.
Published by David Fickling Books and The Phoenix Comic.