It's one of the great ironies of mankind that the successful and popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise of Eastman & Laird was not only a spoof of comic trends of the mid 1980s, but it itself inspired a slew of spoofs and takeoffs. Actually, what it did was convince everyone who could hold a pen and swipe Frank Miller comics that they too should cash in on the great black and white boom. While this was terrible news for comic dealers, who now had to fill their shelves with hundreds of new non-returnable black and white books of marginal quality, it winds up being a windfall for sarcastic mockers such as ourselves who have nothing better to do 20 years later than make fun of the honest sweat and toil of earnest young cartoonists. Ain't we the stinkers?
No, actually, what stinks around here are these comics. Let's start off with an offering from Eclipse Comics, who usually published actual quality work from Alan Moore, Scott McCloud, and other real talents. Unfortunately, sometimes quality control took a nap.
Yes, it's Guerilla Groundhog, who doesn't let those wusses at the Pentagon stand in the way of whatever it is guerilla groundhogs do! He's a one-rodent army who defeats menaces with the help of a myopic sidekick and the requisite badly drawn comic book female.
There's something about a giant angry groundhog as big as a man, riding around in a super gopher digging machine... something that reeks of "we're not really sure what the hell we're doing, but whatever it is, let's get it done as fast as we can before the comic shop owners wise up."
The villains of this piece are squirmy communist worms from Jupiter who haul giant phallic objects through dark tunnels. I don't know who the author of this piece needs to see first, his psychiatrist or his gastroenterologist.
Speaking of small furry creatures turned into gun-toting 80s style action heroes, we can't get much more 80s than "Hamster Vice".
That's right, it's like "Miami Vice" only starring hamsters. Not to be confused with that OTHER rodent-infested "Miami Vice" spoof, "Miami Mice", which we do not (and will never) own a copy of. "Hamster Vice" was published by the same outfit that brought you "Cold Blooded Chameleon Commandos" and "Pre Teen Dirty Gene Kung Fu Kangaroos" by Lee Marrs, who should have known better.
But let's not linger too long with the warm-blooded creatures. The reptiles require our attention!! Namely, "Komodo And The Defiants!"
You see, on the planet Regis, human-animal hybrids have been created by the power-mad Telexx corporation! However, three level-2 manimal hybrids have escaped the super alerted manimal patrols and now they hide out in an abandoned gym, where they bust each other with streetwise snaps and martial arts skills while they wait to strike back!
Meanwhile, on some other planet, in a completely different comic, the evil Republic Of Borga has sent their secret agent The Blazing Celery to battle the freedom-fighting Renegade Rabbit! Because what could be funnier than a spoof? A spoof of a spoof!! And what is it with these 80s furry comics and their insistence upon making up crazy space worlds and fake alien governments and convoluted nonsensical storylines? Guys, nobody is going to be reading these comics past issue #3!
But all of these comics weren't plotted quite so tightly. Witness, the "Geriatric Gerbils"...
In this extended flashback sequence we see how the Gerbils - Duffer, Codger, and Zeke - were mutants raised by Dr. Bomba to conquer the world and apparently win comic book convention costume contests. How this comic lasted long enough to reach the "extended flashback" stage is anybody's guess. Attention 1987 - quit buying terrible comic books!!
Continuing the gerbil motif, we have a British entry into the field...
Ahh yes, the Post Atomic Cyborg Gerbils. Well, this ought to be pretty funny, it's drawn in a goofy cartoony style, it's about cyborg gerbils, should be a laugh riot!
Well, no, actually it's about as heavy handed and pompous as you can make a comic about gerbil super soldiers. Guys, wait a few years and "goth" will catch up with you.
On the "what the hell" side of things we now present the stirring tale of the armadillo who won the West - Colt!
Yup, a little armadillo with muscular human arms and legs who beats up western badmen. It's like the bastard hybrid of a high school football mascot and a Sergio Leone movie.
Didja know armadillos are the only animals besides humans to carry the disease leprosy? That doesn't have anything to do with this comic, but we figure it can't hurt to make your stupid comic experience a little educational.
Speaking of educational, you'll have the last five years of post-graduate education blasted out of your brain when you experience our next animal entry - the awesome rockin' power of the HARD ROCKIN RABBITS!!
They're rabbits with giant stacks of badly drawn Marshall amps! And what says 'ROCK AND ROLL' like ugly blobs of screentone plastered randomly everywhere? Nothing, that's what!
Let's meet the Hard Rockin Rabbits, shall we?
Well, on second thought, let's not. Let's meet their fans instead!!
And with the faint sound of metalhead regurgitation ringing in our ears, we bid farewell to the Hard Rockin Rabbits, and indeed, to all the inept animal comics of the 80s. We shall never see their like again. I hope.
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