Monkey vs. Lemur

By | Wednesday, January 10, 2007 Leave a Comment
One of today's purchases was the 2005 one-shot Monkey in a Wagon vs. Lemur on a Big Wheel from Alias.

Everyone loves monkeys (as we all know) and a great many kids had or wished they had a classic Big Wheel. Plus the absurdity of putting a monkey in a wagon to face off against a lemur on a Big Wheel is just too amusing to really pass up.

The concern, of course, in a comic like this is that it's a one note joke. Beyond the cover, what more could you really do with it? Therein lies the cleverness of the comic itself.

The issue is broken up into several distinct stories, each four or five pages long. And while we see Monkey and Lemur as distinct characters in each story, none of the stories are really connected beyond the superficial concept. Further, we don't see the monkey and lemur actually fighting one another at any point. The interest is all in the set-ups. In one story, Lemur takes on a sort of typical superhero role against the evil Monkey. In another, the two are on captains on the high seas. The characters are put into a variety of situations that inevitably and inexorably lead them to confront one another. And in that variety lies the humor. How many variations on this simple theme are there? How many ways can you be surprised in the set-up?

I'm kind of reminded of BBC's The Fast Show (re-titled Brilliant! here in the U.S.) in that the individual stories are very short, but their comedy stems from the endless variety within the confines of a narrow format. How many things can Swiss Toni compare to making love to a beautiful woman? How many different scandalous situations can the 13th Duke of Wybourne get himself into? And why in the world does Jesse only eat one type of food each week?

In any event, that's a similar type of humor for MWvLBW. By the end of the issue, we know full well that any time you put a monkey in a wagon near a lemur on a Big Wheel, you're going to wind up in a heap of trouble.

While it wasn't quite as much fun as Pirates vs. Ninjas, MWvLBW was definitely a hoot. Next week, I'm definitely going to dig out the Silent Devil version.
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