Auntie Agatha's Home for Wayward Rabbits #6

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An Uncommon Book

Auntie Agatha’s Home for Wayward Rabbits #6 may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there is some meat to it. It touches on some serious themes, and it handles some of those better than others, but it has the courage to make the attempt. It has some humor, but it tends to be of a dark variety. It’s a bit quirky, to say the least.

  • Writing
    7
  • Art
    6
  • Coloring
    7
  • User Ratings (0 Votes)
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Naomi and Raquel are tied up in the shed that Loomis has rigged to detonate. Just how big a blast area does he have? And is this really how it all ends? Let’s find out in Auntie Agatha’s Home for Wayward Rabbits #6 from Image Comics.

Auntie Agatha's Home for Wayward Rabbits #6AUNTIE AGATHA’S HOME FOR WAYWARD RABBITS #6

Writer: Keith Giffen
Artist: Benjamin Roman
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: April 17, 2019

Previously in Auntie Agatha’s Home for Wayward Rabbits: Sawyer speaks out, trying to rally the other rabbits to his cause of saving their home. After all, if they can’t stay with Auntie Agatha, they will be sent to the Elmhurst Research Facility. Briefly, we get a poignant moral about giving kids cute baby bunnies as an Easter present. Julie arrives to stop him from simply panicking the rabbits. He, in turn, is upset that she isn’t doing more to try to save them. Then Loomis comes over with his spare detonator and gives it to Julie for safekeeping. He has rigged the shed to explode. That night, Naomi and Raquel show up with a few gallons of gasoline, intending to torch the place. Instead, Sawyer tricks them into the shed and sends Loomis to get his detonator.

A LONG SETUP FOR A GREAT PUNCHLINE

I have to admit, Auntie Agatha’s Home for Wayward Rabbits #6 is one of the stranger comics I’ve read. It’s trying to do a lot. It explores some serious themes; it has a very classic plot line of the small property owner vs. the evil guy who wants to buy them out; it engages in some stereotyping for humor (some of which goes a little flat), and it has a thread of surreal wackiness. I think the storytelling overall is fine, but it just seems like it’s trying to pack too much in.

The opening is dramatic. Naomi and Raquel are tied up and gagged in the shed as Sawyer paces back and forth with the detonator (a repurposed remote control) in his paws. He monologues for a bit, like a stereotypical movie madman with a detonator. This gradually turns back on his own story, the timing of which is impeccable. This issue comes out days before Easter, and Sawyer was an Easter gift, who lasted two months before he was released into the woods. This is one of the serious themes – we have several rabbits here who were abandoned and may be suffering from post-traumatic stress. I am concerned, though, that this book uses themes of mental illness more to play off popular stereotypes or milk them for laughs. But then there are some more genuine moments where Sawyer really does seem to be struggling to cope and finding ways of doing so.

He leaves the shed to find all the rabbits gathered around and walks past them to stand next to Loomis. Then he tells them they’re all in the blast radius. With a smattering of comments, they move. There’s first a little delay as Sawyer talks to Loomis, and then Buster shows up. He thinks they’ve called a rabbit meeting, and they’ve deliberately left him out. His feelings are hurt, and he runs into the shed and slams the door. Then he pops his head out – there are a couple of people tied up in the shed. Finally, all the rabbits (and the dog-rabbit) are safe, Sawyer pushes the button, and Julie’s TV turns on in the middle of annoying medical commercial (which is actually rather humorous).

Crisis averted, the police show up to take Naomi and Raquel away, as they talk about sinister rabbits. Julie is mad at Sawyer for trying to kill a couple of people and just doesn’t want to talk to him. This carries over into the next day. He tries to get her to talk; she’s still cross. But eventually, she hugs him and tells him not to do it again. Auntie Agatha’s is safe for the moment and things go back to as normal as they can, and the issue closes with a great punchline. Still, it’s a pretty somber end for a book that seems to be trying to be funny.

PRETTY DARK AND PRETTY STRANGE

The art in Auntie Agatha’s Home for Wayward Rabbits #6 has to capture a lot of unusual things, and it does it reasonably well. Loomis’s rigged explosives look sinister if a little crazy. Sawyer has plenty of nervous energy that comes across. I like that Naomi and Raquel look frazzled and unkempt.

Something that is done quite well is the use of long shots for humorous effect, such as when Sawyer walks out of the shed. There’s a four-panel sequence of long shots as we see him go past all the gathered rabbits, all the way to where Loomis is on the far edge, before he warns them all. I think it gives us a sense of the comedic timing.

There are some awfully nice facial expressions and body language when Julie and Sawyer have their discussions – and when they’re not talking. Whatever relationship they have may be somewhat dysfunctional, but when push comes to shove, they still matter to each other.

BOTTOM LINE: AN UNCOMMON BOOK

Auntie Agatha’s Home for Wayward Rabbits #6 may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there is some meat to it. It touches on some serious themes, and it handles some of those better than others, but it has the courage to make the attempt. It has some humor, but it tends to be of a dark variety. It’s a bit quirky, to say the least.

 

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About Author

By day, she’s a mild-mannered bureaucrat and Ms. Know-It-All. By night, she’s a dance teacher and RPG player (although admittedly not on the same nights). On the weekends, she may be found judging Magic, playing Guild Wars 2 (badly), or following other creative pursuits. Holy Lack of Copious Free Time, Batman! While she’s always wished she had teleportation as her superpower, she suspects that super-speed would be much more practical because then she’d have time to finish up those steampunk costumes she’s also working on.

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