Last time here at Mister Kitty's Stupid Comics, home of an overworked scanner and overstressed Ikea shelving barely bearing up under the weight of short boxes filled with comic books (stupid and otherwise), we looked at a secret agent spoof that featured a one-panel joke cameo from Hanna-Barbera's Secret Squirrel. We also featured a short blurb from the comic company's publisher promising all sorts of excitement awaiting us if we'd only pick up their other title that month, Samurai Squirrel (no relation). Well, by a weird coincidence, we just happened to have that very same issue of Samurai Squirrel kicking around and thought that it would be fitting to take a look at it and see how well the medium of mid 1980s black and white explosion comics mixes with the world of cartoon animals and the world of the elite warrior caste of medieval and early-modern Japan, the samurai. Not very well, it turns out!
And here he is, our hero, Samurai Squirrel, equipped with a big bushy tail, big human-type muscles, a big samurai sword, and a big case of tularemia (not shown). Are you ready to watch his sword mastery and/or his ability to store nuts in his cheek pockets? Maybe both?
Just in case you didn't catch it last time, here's that editorial where we're reliably informed that the plot for the next ten issues of Samurai Squirrel is a thing that actually exists. Here also is where we get to marvel at the four separate inkers that made this comic book sure to be of wildly disparate quality, and a handy guide to the Japanese words that will be sprinkled throughout the text, as one would sprinkle furikake over their rice while eating a Japanese meal, before which you, of course, said "Itadakimasu."
When you really need to make sure your readers know you're dealing with serious Oriental martial arts wizardry, what better font choice than the "Won Ton" font, used for only the finest kung-fu television syndication packages? What better name for your samurai squirrel hero than one reminiscent of the notoriously stinky Japanese dish of fermented bean curd? And what better weapons for a samurai squirrel than two knives that aren't samurai swords at all? And where does the stoned-looking coonskin-cap sporting dude in the foreground fit into all this? Ready your skill to the full extreme and let's continue!
The attackers advance and the attackees attack the attackers, for all your attacking attackness needs.
Samurai Squirrel shows off that well known samurai sword technique known as "kicking somebody in the face."
These anthropomorphic furry type comics always enter strange territory when they're depicting the extremely human musculature of their animal-headed characters, highlighted here by the detailed inking work of one of this comic's more accomplished artists.
Now exactly how many times has Malik-Qui (great authentic Japanese name there, by the way) been dragged across the sand by a rat-person in a coonskin cap for Nato to be able to say 'Not again!"
If what you wanted in a comic book was to be distracted by the gaping, drool-ridden mouth of Samurai Squirrel staring at you with his dead taxidermy eyes, well, something is probably wrong with you.
Will the ninja bears distract us from the fact that Samurai Squirrel is now equipped with what appears to be an actual samurai sword, or "katana?" Apparently not!
This is apparently some new and exciting use of the word "majestic" that I've previously been unaware of.
To heck with these squirrels and rats and Chaings, I want a comic book starring these two statues in the foreground, whom I have named Bitey and Sarcasto-Hog. Go Sarcasto-Hog, Go!
Who bares the medallion? It was covered up, and now it's not! Who has exposed it to everyone's gaze? Oh, is there another way to spell "bare?" No, that's, like, a giant animal, that can't be right.
Okay Chaing, forget that "Won Ton" typeface, YOU are rocking the ENTIRE Oriental Yellow Peril Wizard Package! You got the Fu Manchu mustache, you got the little hair bun, you got the evil narrow eyes, you got the long fingernails on your regular human five fingered hand because we forgot if we were sticking to the cartoon four fingers rule!
You'd think getting the ninjas would be an obvious move, but some henchmen always have to be told what to do. GET THE NINJAS ALREADY!!
Also, how clean and efficient is using magic powers to burn someone to death in your throne room? Not very, that's how!
Meanwhile, Nato and Malik rejoice over their victory. They're really whooping up a storm here, really rejoicing the hell out of the place. Better tone it down boys.
This what passes for deep interpersonal conflict here in Samurai Squirrel, where a wandering masterless martial artist tells another wandering masterless martial artist that he needs to realize he's a wandering masterless martial artist before his selfish honor kills them both, through some unspecified means.
Ladies and gentlemen, the NINJAS have done been GOTTEN.
You know, usually the ninjas will stop what they're doing and apologize when you firmly tell them to. I guess these are those "bad" sort of ninjas.
Hey Nato-san, don't beat yourself up too much. Malik was the one who wandered away and got himself ninja'd. Also, he was really bad at fighting, and probably should have gotten himself one of those baby-carts with hidden blades and repeating musketry, as seen in the movies. But no, he went with a stick. I'd say this one was on him.
So off Nato went on his epic quest, tracking down the murderers of his brother. Or maybe he's just headed south for some villages. Whichever.
Don't let anyone say that Samurai Squirrel can't throw shade with the best of 'em!
Sorry, that one was lame.
Samurai Squirrel's moping is interrupted by the moping of two cartoon birds mopey because they didn't get the callback for the "Whistle While You Work" scene in Snow White.
"My name is Nato-san and I travel to the south in search of answers as to whether or not I'm tracking ninjas, or am heading for some villages, or both. I'm just not sure!"
And so a bargain is struck. Samurai Squirrel will destroy the evil spider and save the baby bird, and in return Reakeka and Quika (fine Japanese names) will somehow fly Nato, a human-sized squirrel four or five times their size, anywhere he wants to go, anywhere up to three inches away, I guess.
FINALLY a comic book that asks the questions, "Is my deodorant still working?" and "Can I climb under this giant nose?"
okay sickos, you got what you wanted, that disgusting squirrel sticky webbing shot all over his face scene. Now take a hike, you perverts.
As "Earth Vs The Spider II - The Squirrelening" continues, we see lots of sword-on-spider action and, as is always the case with these independent black and white boom comics, that familiar "to be continued" ending. You might be surprised to know that Samurai Squirrel actually did make it to the second issue, but most of those ten issues that were already plotted, well, they never saw the light of day, leaving trees and comic shop quarter bins breathing a sigh of relief.
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