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‘Scurry’ OGN (review)

Written and Illustrated by Mac Smith
Published by Image Comics /
Skybound Comet

 

Let’s get one thing out of the way right up front here—Scurry is absolutely gorgeous!

I’m not certain what techniques were utilized by one-stop creator Mac Smith, but I have no doubt computers were involved to help achieve this book’s amazing photorealistic effect. And when you consider that the photorealism here is used to portray anthropomorphic animals in what appears to be a post-apocalyptic world, it’s even more impressive.

Pict and Wix, two cute, big-eyed mice in the classic cartoon tradition, are our protagonists. With Wix’s battles to outwit housecats taking up the early section of the book, my first thought was that this was a superbly drawn update of Tom and Jerry. Turns out, though, it’s more along the lines of Watership Down or Mouse Guard.

Something has happened to the humans. We’re never shown exactly what, although a brief flashback hints that it was nuclear and climate change may also have been involved. But the animals are still around, and they’re consumed by one of life’s greatest passions—the need for food. Not just mice, but cats, dogs, a rat, foxes, a moose, an opossum, some beavers, a squirrel, and a big ol’ bear. All portrayed realistically except that they can talk, and they’re all non-stop hungry. Some of them have already been driven a little nuts by said hunger.

The mice have a colony, and as often happens when you get a bunch of disparate personalities together, there’s a struggle for leadership, with the cliché sleazy younger mouse wanting to off the wizened old mouse, whose daughter is one of our heroes. Think “The Grand Vizier” in every old Arabian adventure flick you ever saw on The Late, Late Show back in the day.

Put all this together and you get a rousing quest, with two plucky little big-eared heroes who’ll steal your heart even as they gain your respect for their travails and their triumphs.

Mac Smith gives every animal a unique look, much closer to realism than to traditional cartooning, and yet it is cartooning. It’s a comic, and Smith seems to know exactly how to best combine the various aspects of his chosen format for full effect.

Behind-the-scenes political intrigue, dangerous weather, dream sequences, and most of all, animal characters who act pretty much the way those animals act in the real world. Most are neither good nor bad. They just need to eat, and when they’ve eaten, they need to eat some more. It’s one of life’s most powerful motivations, and it comes across as such herein.

Bottom line?

Scurry, by Mac Smith, offers a genuinely exciting, memorable, 300-page suitable for all ages adventure with some wonderful, likable new heroes who don’t need capes or super powers. And every single page is absolutely stunning!

Booksteve recommends.

 

 

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