Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Keith Giffen
Artwork: Benjamin Roman
Colours: Bryan Valenza, Beyond Colorlab
Release Date: 7th November 2018
Auntie Agatha’s Home For Wayward Rabbits is an interesting creation. Signalling the return of writer Keith Giffen to creator-owned comics, the series sees him reuniting with artist Benjamin Roman for a series about… well… about a home for wayward rabbits.
In this first issue we meet Julie, the niece of the Shelter’s titular owner as she goes about her business, tending to some of the Home’s more damaged and dysfunctional inhabitants and making sure there’s enough food to go around.
One thing that’s clear from the get-go is the fact that Giffen and Roman are clearly having an absolute blast, with the bulk of this opening issue being devoted to an amusing drawn-out conversation between Julie and some of the rabbits in her care about the different types of rabbit food that are available.
Oh yeah, the rabbits can talk. Did I forget to mention that?
In their press material, Image Comics have drawn parallels between this series and Family Guy, and to be honest, that comparison feels pretty much spot-on. And while we mercifully don’t have the increasingly annoying “that reminds me of…” cutaways, a lot of what Giffen and Roman are doing here definitely have strong roots in the Seth MacFarlane juggernaut.
Want something sweet and innocent turning out to be mature and uncouth (see: Stewie)? Well, we have rabbits discussing cannibalism, OCD and cultural appropriation here. Want animals talking to humans in a matter-of-fact manner without any additional explanation required (see: Brian)? Check and check. Want snarky, sarcastic humour from start to finish? This is your book, folks.
The character designs are also brilliantly absurd, from Sawyer, the purple bunny with an almost Care Bear-esque heart mark on his chest to the weirdly menacing and oddly identical goons who show up near the end of the issue to throw a massive spanner in the Home’s operation.
My personal highlight however has to be Buster, the completely ineffective watchdog who, for reasons best known to himself (and presumably the creators), wears a Bunny mask and thinks of himself as a rabbit. I’m not sure why the character tickled me so much, but he absolutely did, and I hope we get to hear more from him as the series unfolds.
It’s all gloriously bonkers, and while it’s difficult to tell exactly where the series is heading from here, it’s definitely going to be interesting to see if it manages to retain its charm once the pace picks up. This first issue was basically a funny dialogue and character design showcase from Giffen and Roman, and while we did get to know a few of the key characters along the way, I’m looking forward to digging into the meat of the story (so long as it isn’t ground-up rabbits), in the issues to come.
In a time where comic books are rapidly snapped up for movie and television show adaptations, it would be an absolute crime if we don’t get an animated version of this series somewhere down the line. I’d definitely watch it, that’s for damn sure.