Review: Grizzlyshark #2

Grizzlyshark is one of those books, which, by its very nature, defies conventional review. That doesn’t mean it’s unerringly good or mind-numbingly bad; nor does it mean that it addresses a subject of great moral or ethical import, thereby somehow negating any thoughtful review for obsequious fawning. No, it’s just ridiculous. I mean, it’s called fucking Grizzlyshark, for god’s sake. You kinda know what you’re getting into here. This is normally where I’d give a brief overview of the plot itself, but let’s be honest, the plot of a book called Grizzlyshark is, as my old Welsh boss would say, “as useless as tits on a nun.” He’s an eloquent guy (actually he is). But to be fair, his deft little slice of parlance has credence in this case. The plot to this book is nominal at best, there to push forward its main goal of silly, mindless gore and ridiculous toothy bedlam. And for the most part, it does what it does well.

GrizzlyShark_02-1For the sake of due diligence, I’ll say that issue two of this book carries on directly from its first, featuring a loose-knit group of campers, scientists, bifurcated humans and mentally withdrawn country bumpkins as they are hunted and fangoriously killed by a... what do you call a group of sharks? A gaggle? A pod? A murder? Yeah, that feels right. So this murder of fucking sharks eats a ton of people in a forest. The end.

As such, this thing is mostly a one-trick-pony, relying on an “out of nowhere” approach to schlocky horror. But there are admittedly some true gems in there that you might not expect, mostly thanks to the running visual gags established in the first issue, but also thanks to some fun (if gross) interactions between what remains of the regular cast, and some genuinely funny dialogue. But it remains one-note ridiculum of the highest (by which I mean lowest) order, and is clearly happy to get cheap laughs, not that there’s anything wrong with that. If nothing else, this is a silly little ride that continues the tone of the first issue, and ingesting it won’t eat up much of your day. Pun intended.

The art is loose and goofy, apart from the various viscera ripped out by the titular Grizzlysharks, which is exactly the kind of stuff you’d expect from Ottley. The rest of it, however, does feel like an earlier iteration of his work (which makes sense); it’s less polished, more rushed, but also feels like a more angular version of something Scottie Young might do.  The colors by Ivan Plascencia buoy things nicely, and again in the gore, actually show some impressively nuanced touches.

In short, Grizzlyshark #2 is fun and silly and kind of stupid, clearly capitalizing on the success of similar cinematic fare, like Sharknado. If you’re into that kind of stuff, with an even more decidedly Tom & Jerry bent, then you’re gonna love this book. If not, you might just want to skip it. I’ll personally be sticking around, not because its cliffhanger leaves me on bated breath, but because next issue finally promises the always-intended showdown between Grizzlyshark and Seabear. And you can call me a sucker if you like, but that I’ve gotta see.

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Grizzlyshark #2 Writer/Artist: Ryan Ottley Colorist: Ivan Plascencia Publisher: Image Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 5/11/16 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital