My hope is that by now you have enough confidence in me and my choices to trust just about anything I say. I’m going to need you to continue doing just that because there is a pretty cool book in today’s Comic Book Club that needs to be read. I’ll just give the name first and let you ponder it for a second: Chickenhare. Really yet? Let’s get started.
Highly Recommended, Yet Under-read
Chickenhare is a graphic novel series written and drawn by Chris Grine, currently in technically its third volume. Ooh, I’m already getting technical on you, and I haven’t even explained what a “Chickenhare” is. Slow down, I’ll get to these things. Consider first that the books are recommended by not only Jeff Smith (the author of Bone), but also Stan Sakai, the creator of the series Usagi Yojimbo. Those are two hefty endorsers there, but can the book really be that good? Well I’m endorsing it too, so yes.
Alright, the story follows Chickenhare, a half chicken, half hare character, and Abe, a bearded turtle, as they get themselves into a few rough situations, the first involving being sold to a taxidermist where they meet Banjo and Meg, two mysterious characters. That makes up the primary group for the first book. The second book involves them going to the Underworld to…okay, go read it because I don’t want to spoil things.
I’m a big fan of the art style here since it’s very clean and crisp. The books also don’t get overly wordy, though they don’t skimp on the action. I’ve been consistently impressed that the books push right at the door of being in the realm of older audiences, yet can be read by any age group and enjoyed. All-age friendly without seeming all-ages friendly? That’s good work there Mr. Grine.
Your Call To Action
Dark Horse published the first two books called House of Klaus and Fire in the Hole, respectively, but poor sales forced them to decide to nix the option of a third volume. So what happened as a result? Chris Grine opted to write and release it for free as a web comic at his site www.chickenhare.com. Go take a look after you read the first two volumes. There isn’t a whole ton of the new story up yet, but what’s there has got me hooked on yet another story arc.
Overall, Chickenhare has all the elements of a seriously great yet seriously underrated comic. These are the series you really want to get into for the following reason: No one else knows about them yet. This is how you become a real comic snob without having to read tons of things. I’m giving you the tools to find something worthy of cult status before it hits, making you part of the original fans and not just bandwagon jumpers. Opportunities like this are rare.
That’s all for today. Go read Chickenhare and tell your friends to do the same. I want this series to keep going, so let’s rally support for Chris Grine and Chickenhare!