Bunny Town #1-2

By Will Allison
32 pages, black and white
Published by Radio Comix

Don’t underestimate the power of a good cover. While at Comic-Con International in San Diego earlier this month, every time I walked by the Radio Comix booth I kept seeing one cover in particular that jumped out at me—Bunny Town #1. Maybe it was the resigned look on the bunny’s face. Maybe it was the lightning bolt hitting the bunny in the face. Maybe it was the cute logo overtop the rather bleak cover providing a perfect contrast. All I knew is, I needed Bunny Town. Immediately. You see what a good cover can do?

Lonely Bunny moves to Bunny Town in an effort to be near other rabbits—naturally, no one bothered to tell poor Lonely that there haven’t been any rabbits in Bunny Town for over five years now. That’s all right, though, because her new-found acquaintances Malibu the Shark, Blacksie the Cat, and Bollo the Bear are more than willing to make her new life perfectly miserable. Moving to a new city was never this much fun.

Will Allison’s comic managed to get me a lot of strange looks on my Delta Air Lines flight home to Virginia, probably because I kept bursting into hysterical laughter without any warning. Allison’s storytelling almost instantly put me in mind of people like Jhonen Vasquez and Roman Dirge, with its very dark and unpredictable humor. That’s not to say that Bunny Town is aping those other creators’s books, because it’s not; Allison’s got a very different and distinct voice of his own. It’s very interesting to read both issues of Bunny Town to date back-to-back, because there’s a very nice shift in story as Lonely Bunny starts to acclimate herself to just what her new “friends” are doing to her and begins to adapt to her surroundings… which is not necessarily a good thing. It’s this change from innocence to resigned acceptance that makes Bunny Town stand out the most for me (despite a lot of hysterical panels and pages that kept me laughing), because I’m genuinely intrigued to see where Allison will take Bunny Town next. What seems to have originally been planned as a one-shot is very much going somewhere, and this forward sense of movement feels wonderfully natural and I’d be surprised if any reader wasn’t hooked by it.

Allison’s art in Bunny Town is remarkably sweet and innocent on the surface, with big thick ink lines drawing cute anthropomorphic animals in the city. It’s the perfect technique for Allison to set you up for a one-two sucker-punch, as your defenses quickly get lowered so you can get all the more surprised when things go horribly wrong. While most pages are composed primarily of reaction shots, there’s a nice sense of movement from panel to panel every now and then. The first issue’s struggle between Lonely and Bollo, for instance, pulls your eye across the page, and the grabbing and throwing of a rock flows perfectly. Allison’s single panel reactions, though, are in some ways the high point of the book. He’s able to do this wonderful mix of dangerous-yet-adorable so well it’s a little disturbing… then again, that does seem to be the point of Bunny Town.

In the end, I’m really very pleased with Bunny Town; not only did it live up to the covers, it surpassed my expectations. This is the first time I’d ever read anything by Allison, but clearly it’s not going to be the last. With only two issues out so far, you really need to ask your local comics retailer to try and order these for you. (If you can’t get them by that route, then I’m sure the good folks at Radio Comix would be more than happy to sell them mail-order.) Here’s hoping it’s not too long until we take another trip back to Bunny Town.

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