Rating: 4.5/5 – Tips on Surviving the Coming Ursine Apocalypse!
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall
I first ran across Ethan Nicolle’s work in his debut comics work Chumble Spuzz (from Slave Labor Graphics in 2008, nominated for an Eisner Award in 2009). I interviewed him on an episode of the Comic Book Page podcast that I was co-hosting at the time and I’ve been hooked on his sense of humor ever since. A lot more people are probably familiar with him from the insanely popular Axe Cop which has been a webcomic, a cartoon on Fox & FXX, and a comic published by Dark Horse. Now Nicolle turns his razor-sharp wit to a topic we should all be concerned about: What if every bear on the planet suddenly decided that they wanted to kill every human on the planet?
This hefty tome (those electrons are HEAVY) is 171 pages of bear vs. human mayhem, collecting the webcomic from Bearmageddon.com and available on Comixology. You can still read the 1st 67 pages on the site, but need to purchase the full volume to get the latter 100+ pages if that taste leaves you wanting more….and believe me, the action in that last half is well worth it. The material still online shows the initial confrontations between our intrepid band of survivors and the bears out in the woods. The action is taken up a few notches when the bears get into the local town and our heroes follow along, hoping to meet up with family members.
Volume 1 of Bearmageddon teases us with the reasons behind the bears deciding to eradicate humankind, and only scratches the surface on the various bear hybrids that are promised in the back-matter and this interior title image:
An octo-bear is pulled out of a sewer and we see a “flying squirrel bear” that can glide down on unsuspecting people from trees or tall buildings. But what about the BearBat, BearCrab, BearGator, Bearmadillo, Beardvark, Grizzly Boar, and many more… Something to look forward to in Volume 2, I hope, which will be serialized on the web-site starting in May 2016.
But wait, there’s more!
Bearmageddon isn’t simply a bear vs. human throwdown for the domination of planet Earth. In addition to fighting bears, we get: Working in retail, video games, environmentalism, lessons in social responsibility, and what it means to be a responsible adult looking out for family, friends, and even people we don’t know…just because it’s the right thing to do. Nicolle packs a lot into this book and like some of the educational shows you watched as a kid, be careful or you might learn something while you’re being entertained (including how to turn a propane tank into a flame thrower, but I would NOT recommend trying that one at home).
The core to any successful story for me is having people I like and can relate to, Nicolle provides that with a number of the main characters. Just like real people, some of them I immediately liked and sympathized with, others I took a dislike to. But that’s what makes them feel real. Give the beginning a read on the Bearmageddon site and if you like it head on over to Comixology and buy the entire 1st Volume. If you like the sample, I think you’ll be glad you read the whole thing!
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
https://comicspectrum.com/ Covering the full spectrum of comics culture