Penguins VS Possums Vol 1
It’s pretty normal to go into almost any situation with at least a partially pre-conceived idea of what you are expecting. Earlier this year I gave you a preview of Fanboy Comics’ latest graphic novel, Penguins VS Possums volume 1. Based on what I had already seen and read, I clearly thought I knew what I would be getting when I got a chance to review the book in its entirety. However, even with that preview in hand; and the research I did on the book and the team involved in creating PvP fresh in my mind, I must tell you that this graphic novel absolutely exceeded and changed all my expectations in a big way.
Penguins & Possums, Possums & Penguins, classic animals that we think of as mortal enemies devoted to the destruction of each other? Nope, not at all; yet what seems like an outlandish and absurd notion suddenly seems to make total sense when you see the world that the team of Sebastian Kendrick, John Bring & Lindsay Calhoon Bring have imagined and realized in the pages herein.
The existing four issues of Penguins vs. Possums are collected here into one graphic novel and those issues now become the individual chapters of the book. The Prophecy, The Prodigal Prince, Recompense & Fractures. Each chapter is complete in the telling of its own story within the folds, while also setting up the future chapters; getting some hooks set deep in you to keep the pages turning in your hands.
When we first meet our protagonists and antagonists (which is which depends on your point of view) the setting is a beautiful day at the San Diego Zoo’s lovely and favored penguin habitat. After the curious humans walk away however, we are treated to a vicious, bloody, horrendous attack of Penguins VS Possums where no quarter is given and we are reminded that you must always be cautious of one who may just be…… playing possum. Of course, one good attack deserves another, and shortly thereafter we get a chance to see the possum home world, this time under a direct assault led by the Emperor Penguin himself. The results of these barbarous attacks and the plethora that presumably came before are laid bare for us to witness and set the rest of the tale. A leader falls in battle, a family gets ripped apart, friends and brothers are divided, a Chosen One rises and a son ascends to the throne
Penguins VS Possums is at it’s black, white & grey heart, a quite thoughtful book that not only deals with many classic literary themes that you may be familiar with, but also does a great job of juxtaposing them and keeping you unsure of where the next page turn will take you. That it can accomplish all of this while still being a very fun read is a testament to the writers and the overall arching story. If you can find a better book that can give both Star Wars and Shakespeare a nod in the dialogue and have it feel natural, good luck.
With the artwork, Kadlecik & Bring make it obvious that they took some care and thoughtfulness with the pencils of the characters and worlds that we see here. They have studied & researched the titular subjects, that much is clear; yet seeing them interact with themselves in their own societies and then with each other comes across as completely believable ( with rockets, guns, knives and assorted other weapons mind you).
I don’t know how they manage to keep doing it, but the team at Fanboy Comics have managed to publish yet another fantastic graphic novel, worthy off all the praise heaped its way, and deserving off all the anticipation we are now going to have towards volume 2.
You owe it to yourself to head over to www.fanboycomics.net and pick yourself up a copy of Penguins VS Possums Vol.1, first to enjoy the ride….. and then to Choose a Side!