The first issue of this quirky and surprisingly funny series won me over in a big way. Funny comic books win me over in a big way in general, but this one caught me off guard. If there’s anything that the 80s and 90s taught me, you can’t just mutate every animal under the sun and have a success, looking at you Biker Mice from Mars. Yet, Henry: The Cantankerous Hamster works. The issue picks up after Henry exploded the town. Now the frogs have shown up to restore order and it becomes clear that the drunken mice are to be ruled by anyone that shows up. Our mouse king has taken up his position with passion though and he ends up rallying the mice to overthrow the frogs.
On Henry’s side of the story he leaves in his battle suit that humorously rolls up into a ball. Makes me want to get a hamster… anyway. Three of the mice follow him and they won’t take no for an answer when they ask him to find them a new home.
This issue tries to pack in a lot more jokes and not all of them hit with me. There’s still a lot of humor that I enjoyed, but as I feared the sober mice aren’t as funny as the drunken mice. Though now they have personalities and they’re not as obnoxious. Hopefully in future issues there’s a better balance between story and jokes because again, the jokes dominate this issue. Otherwise the writing is very consistent and there’s even a few reveals to the overall plot.
The art is a good fit for the story. Henry still doesn’t look like much of a hamster which doesn’t really matter. The mice are strange looking and more like cuddly dwarfs, but the frogs are on point. Really the designs are unique and give the story personality. If they were too realistic the art wouldn’t match the humor and the ridiculousness of the story. Also the facial expressions are fantastic and sell a lot of the humor without help of the dialogue.
While the second issue of Henry: The Cantankerous Hamster took a dip for me, it’s still a very enjoyable series that I’m looking forward to reading more of. I don’t know if it’s a story and setting that can sustain a long running series, but hey, stranger things have happened. If you’re looking for a laugh though, check the series out.
Henry: The Cantankerous Hamster #2 Writer: Ryan Salazar Artist/Letterer: Jason Richard Long Publisher: Rising Sun Comics Price: $4.00 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital Website