Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tradio #10 - Elmer

With this week's Tradio we continue with the creator owned love with Elmer, a comic book, by Gerry Alanguilan and published by SLG Publishing.
If you have heard of Elmer, then you are a very select group. It is not that it is a bad work, it is just that comics about chickens suddenly becoming intelligent and struggling to attain rights like any other intelligent species is a little off the beaten path. The graphic novel collects all four issues of the series which is both written and drawn by Gerry Alanguilan. Alanguilan has done a lot of his own creator owned work, but has also done inking on such titles as X-Men, Wetworks, Fantastic Four, and Superman: Birthright. Through his amazing black and white line work, we get a glimpse into the struggles of chickens as they become sentient beings capable of talking and reasoning and demand rights just like any other group of intelligent beings. Most of the story is told through the eyes of Jake, a hot-tempered chicken with a big chip on his shoulder. His father, the titular Elmer, is a big influence on him and a lot of the back story of how the world got to the point that it is in is told through his stories. We get to see how the world handles a world with no more fried chicken and see the struggle chickens have to win their equality and then eventually lose it. I won't give anything away, but this is definitely a mature title with nudity, brutality, and language that gives the work a weight that you won't expect given it is a work with more than a few chicken chockings.

I really liked the work. It is smart and will make you think. There isn't the amount of comedy that you would expect in a book about chickens, but over the course of the work, you see how horrible it would be to be in the situation that these poultry are put in. It is a work that will make you think, make you cringe, and ultimately, make you smile. I highly recommend it.

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