Ryan Ottley’s cult classic character is back with all-new adventures in “Grizzly Shark” #1. The story was originally intended to be a fun, one-time collaboration between Ryan Ottley and “Trees” artist Jason Howard; however, as Ottley says in his afterword, he had more ideas for Grizzly Shark, and so he continues the story here with some bloody fun.
This full-color story is perfect for new readers wanting something mindless and easy to follow. However, while this issue is fun, it’s definitely not for young comic readers or the faint of stomach, as blood and guts appear throughout. Fans of cult classic horror/comedy films like “Piranha 3D” and “Sharknado” or comics such as “God Hates Astronauts” will quickly fall in love with Ottley’s sense of humor.
Ottley wastes no time showcasing his talent for carnage in the opening scene, which finds a pair of country men setting up camp. It’s not long before the scent of blood lures in the dreaded grizzly shark and the first splatter of blood appears. There are no panels wasted on needless back story to explain how Grizzly Shark itself came to be; instead, he offers over-the-top spreads of it enjoying meal after meal. We do get a little bit of exposition from a trio of hicks who have intentions of taking out the menace — but even they quickly learn that sometimes the most surprising things can save your life, like a bucket of ice cream. “Grizzly Shark” is outrageous in the best sense of the word.
Part of the enjoyment comes from Ottley’s perfect comedic timing, as seen in the banter between hillbillies and the almost-too-obvious menstrual cycle scene involving a jogger. While the plot is weak (if not completely nonexistent), Otterly gives readers a feast for their eyes in his pencils. Those expecting a deep, layered story about a shark that lives in the forest will be sorely underwhelmed; this comic is meant to be pure fun. It is, however, clever in that the series is self-aware of its ridiculousness. Ottley provides almost no information about his characters, and — as such — they are merely bait for the eponymous star. Colorist Ivan Plascencia brings this fodder to life with his attention to detail; his colors definitely bring all that gore to front and center, adding a touch of lightness to this campy horror tale. Having previously worked with Howard on “Astonishing Wolf-Man,” it’s nice to see his color work in a new series, and it’ll be great to see his mark on the rest of Grizzly Shark’s adventures.
If you’re a die-hard fan of silly fun with a healthy dose of random violence, you will absolutely enjoy everything Ryan Ottley’s “Grizzly Shark” has to offer.