Invariably Jamie Smart has just two pages to pack a punch with his latest Bunny vs Monkey tale in each week’s issue of the brilliant Phoenix comic, so that means cranking up the pace and getting straight into the gags. The genius of the strip is the utter infantile sensibilities of the cast, so easily distracted, pursuing their own agendas as best suits their current mindset, and, in the case of Monkey, being small-minded in a very big way. It’s a bunch of children indulging in imaginary play, except the children are animals and the play often involves grandiose machines of mass destruction that, fortunately, are as effective as one conjured from the imagination. So within this world of utter silliness the creatures of the wood rub along, swinging between petty grievances and mechanised mayhem, but it’s not all going unnoticed…
Derek P Brigstocke, the park ranger, can’t help but take heed of the unnatural amount of explosions compared to a typical woodland, so his curiosity is piqued. As far as the animals are concerned, there’s now a threat form the wider world to contend with.
It’s silliness in the extreme, but Jamie’s colourful and energetic layouts coupled with his inventive and witty stories keep it all rattling along, and even the adults amongst you will be smirking at Bunny collecting up the deer poo (“I do wish they’d pick it up themselves”) and the incident with the Bear Bum.
I’m still holding out hope that we’ll get a POW! collection soon, but until then, sit back and enjoy Bunny vs Monkey.
And if you liked that: Book 5 is being prepped for launch soon.