Grizzlyshark is crass, juvenile, and downright stupid… And that’s a-okay in my book. This series has no aspirations to become one of the great graphic novels of the 21st century. And while I think writer/artist Ryan Ottley may have been trying to create some sort of homage to dollar bin, made-for-TV sci-fi movies, what he’s actually produced is the Saturday morning equivalent to something like Sharktopus.
Grizzlyshark never reaches the level of satire found in comics like Ryan Browne’s God Hates Astronauts, nor does it reach the Zen-like levels of over-the-top lunacy in a book like Axe Cop. Those titles are taking high dives into the deep end, while Grizzlyshark plays in the kiddie pool, which ain’t a bad place to be as long you can handle toddler urine bubbling up your swim trunks.
Grizzlyshark #3: Grizzlyshark vs. Sea Bear picks up with our heroes (the impossible, half-man Donnie and the dimwitted hillbilly MacGyver JonBob) facing off against a field full of terrestrial sharks. After some quick tidying up (i.e. having a bunch of characters get eaten), things kick into high gear with some of the best action pieces I’ve seen from Ryan Ottley.
There are great fat panels filled with shark chaos on each page and it’s wonderful to look at. The story is…well, it’s not really there. But that’s fine. This is the sort of mindless monster mayhem comic book that doesn’t need deep introspective characters or even characters you really care about. If you buy a copy of Grizzlyshark #3, you know what you’re getting into. The plot is literally in the title of the issue.
Grizzlyshark #3: Grizzlyshark vs. Sea Bear is the final installment in this trilogy of issues, which is probably for the best. The mini-series ends with a big, bloody bang (or “munch,” rather) and doesn’t give a damn about loose ends.
Overall, there is nothing really memorable about Grizzlyshark, but that isn’t a bad thing. I enjoy eating at Chipotle, but I don’t lovingly reminisce over each burrito bowl. Ryan Ottley has created a fun, easily-consumable, page-turner of a series and once the trade hits comic stands, it’ll be a nice addition to your shelf.
It’s a comic that you’ll pass along to your friends and chuckle, “can you believe this?” They’ll read it and pass it along to another friend, soon forgetting anything about it until someone brings it up while they’re drunk at a party and they’ll say, “Hey I read that! What was it about? Oh, yeah sharks that can swim on land,” and that’ll be the end of it. That doesn’t exactly make for comic annals material, but that should be more than enough to warrant Grizzlyshark’s publication.
You should not pass on a comic like Grizzlyshark. It does scratch a certain reptilian brain itch that not many other books can get at. If you’re a thirteen year old boy or have the ability to let the 13 year old boy inside you wield your comic-buying judgement, you’ll enjoy every moment of Grizzlyshark.
- Self-aware silliness
- Fantastic art especially Sea Bear!
- Moves at a fast clip
- Might be too lowbrow for some of you snooty comic readers (Alan Moore, it ain’t)