The world of Animals is a strange one. It’s a dash of Animal Farm and Planet of the Apes, but has this rural town feel to it that’s definitely its own. What caught my attention in the first issue Animals: Chickens was the serious mood that the story had. Actually it was more of a melancholy sensation that the story had and that’s continued here. It’s honestly very difficult to describe which I’m sure most people will see when they read it. The story of course follows the Pigs of the Animals world; the first issue followed chickens for the most part, but there were pig appearances as well. The same goes here as it’s mostly pigs, but then chickens and other animals make appearances as well.
The story follows Harold, a pig that works at the slaughter-house. He seems pretty normal, but then he also doesn’t seem to really love life either. The big story around town is that some animals are on the loose and wouldn’t you know it… animals are what they call humans.
Of course there’s more to the tale as Harold becomes wrapped up in the story of the escaped animals, but I’ll leave that for you to read. Why? Because this is an incredible comic book. I don’t know if Eric Grissom is making commentary on the food system or labor or just fucking life in general, but it’s really good. It makes you think and wonder and while I only have guesses I’m okay with that because the story is so rewarding.
A lot of the success of the story comes from artist Claire Connelly. Her artwork is what gives the story the melancholy sensation I talked about in the beginning. Her black & white artwork is what gives the world and town a rural look as well. Her character designs are wonderful. The animals don’t look cute. They’re not adorable anthropomorphic characters, but rather they are average looking. They look like the people you see in your life only in animal form. Often times it’s just Connelly’s artwork and she is a fierce visual storyteller.
The biggest reason I like this issue and this series so far is that it’s something that works because it’s a comic book. Sure it could be a storybook or even an animation to an extent, but it’s at its absolute best because it’s a comic book. There’s something really satisfying about reading a comic book that can’t get any better and more importantly isn’t trying to be a launching point for another medium.
If you’re interested in this title then you should check it out on Comixology’s Submit program. It’s often forgotten because they release as many books a week as a larger print publisher does, with no signs of slowing down. Don’t miss this one, it’s worth the time and money.
Writer: Eric Grissom Artist: Claire Connelly Publisher: Frankenstein’s Daughter Price: $1.99 Release Date: 8/6/14