Auntie Agatha’s Home for Wayward Rabbits (#1) – Keith Giffen

2 out of 5

Harmless and cute but… pointless.

Funnybooks, weird books: give me a reason to read the next issue.  If you’re going to do something light and plotless, then I either need some type of rhythm – the setup-to-a-punchline format of, say, classic Archie comics – or a rewarding cast of characters that make their day-in-the-life adventures pleasing enough to rope me in again 30 days later.  If you’re going to have a plot, then it follows that that plot should be something with a throughline; similar to having appealing characters: I need a reason to return.  And, surely, you can mix and match all of this pretty effectively.

Which isn’t to say it’s particularly easy.

We know Keith Giffen can write a funnybook.  ‘Auntie Agatha’s Home for Wayward Rabbits’ certainly has silly in its DNA, with anthromorphs befitting the book’s title snarking about a farm while the lead human girl fusses over what to feed them.  But Giffen maybe wants to do character, so he focuses on one particular rabbit – all reason and cynicism – but then relegates the other shown rabbit characters to one-dimensional punchlines.  And then Giffen maybe wants to do plot, in the form of two strangers showing up at the home, but offers us zero reason to consider this as all that out of the ordinary, and worthy of following up on.

Benjamin Roman’s big-eyed, floppy-eared art, with bright ol’ colors, is undeniably appealing, but also “matches” Giffen’s vague approach to tone, leaving us with an intro issue that’s got doses of funny- and weird-book elements, but nothing strong enough to make a case for continuing to the next issue.

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