Quack! (#2) – Various

2 out of 5

I appreciate that humor is subjective, but maybe comic book craft has some rules we can apply to it. It’s puzzling that “Quack” – a ‘grown up’ funny animal anthology book that supposes that swear words are all we need to grow up – has a list of notable creators who all seemingly, at least for this issue, forgot how to create comics. Jokes are mistimed; framing and choreography are quite horrendous; word bubbles are a mess. And then if we want to get subjective: it’s really dang unfunny. I think some of the character design works, and there are some amusing / interesting concepts toyed with, but this looks / reads way too much like an amateur project, considering who’s involved.

Namely:

Sergio Aragones and Steve Leialoha. Steve gives us an exciting cover of a sci-fi bunny laster-blastin’ towards the viewer, and Sergio’s script for the kick-off story is a nice, pulpy shtick of said bunny dimension-hopping to our dimension, in which animals don’t – duh – don’t talk, but it ultimately kinda wastes that premise. Steve’s art is probably the best in the book, but it often feels slightly off-timed to Sergio’s writing.

Michael T. Gilbert’s ‘The Wraith is… quite a mess. It’s punchline barely lands, and timing issues are again present, with Gilbert maybe trying to be too carny and expressive within small panels to properly tell his story.

Alan Kupperberg’s (as writing-assisted by Mark Skrenes, Steve Gerber and Alan Weiss) overlong ‘Cool Cats’ strip is the worst, with dialogue between characters that never connects, and scenes jumping directly to another one without a transition.

Scott Shaw!’s You-All Gibbon has the creator’s usual visual verve, but again: timing. It’s like these creators have never told a joke in a comic before – setups are poorly handled, and payoffs are subsumed by odd framing / timing choices.

Ken Mackline’s A Job Well Done is underwhelming, but nice – it’s one of the few strips that feels like it “belongs,” in the sense that it seems to come across as the creator intended it to.

There are a couple of other short gag-like strips in the book that don’t add much of anything, except maybe they take something away when you don’t laugh.