While perusing one of my local awesome shops a little while ago, I looked up at a shelf and saw this bagged and boarded;

The back cover of my copy of Savage Funnies #2

Immediately realizing it had to be purchased it wasn’t until I was out of the store and a few blocks away that I was able to pull out the comic book and find that I had bought this;

The front cover of my copy of Savage Funnies #2

There was no way I wasn’t going to find time to review this! And although I found Savage Funnies #2 to be a hit-or-miss read, none of it was a waste of my time.

The issue is broken up into three portions. The first follows an adventure of Savage Squirrel, and is indeed one of the most violent things I’ve read in a while. I guess I should have expected that since he’s described as “the merry zen psychopath” and he himself says it is okay to shoot dope dealers and steal their money since he’s a “good guy.”

The story proper starts out with the buck-toothed vigilante bursting into a Tony the Tiger-esque drug dealer’s office mid-sale – whom Savage Squirrel then shoots through the head (on panel), splattering about eyes and brains.

While SS robs the guy he notices that the buyer is still in the room, and recognizes the little bundle of fur as a “Care B” (he is interrupted and can’t get the full title out). The bear never gets named in the comic so I’ll call him Bear Boy (SS’s own endearing term for him at one point).

Savage Squirrel asks why Bear Boy is doing drugs, and he gives a history of his family and performance life…that the Care Bs were a small group of performing siblings that were happy until an agent discovered them, castrated/neutered all of them, forced them to perform endlessly, got them drug addicted, and finally cut them all loose after one committed suicide. The Care B family has broken up but everyone is still completely addicted to various illegal substances, and their former agent keeps them quiet by paying a stipend just large enough to keep their addictions going – but if anyone tries to tattle on him they’ll be cut off from the cash.

Of course Savage Squirrel finds this appalling and resolves to travel to Hollywood to deal with Bear Boy’s conniving agent. They take a Greyhound bus instead of flying (because, as SS explains, “Greyhound doesn’t have metal detectors”) and are soon enough busting into the agent’s office. The big fat cat (literally) tries to placate SS by handing over $700,000 and although Savage Squirrel agrees there’s no need to kill the agent he does anyhow – liquifying the feline’s head with a hail of bullets (not done on panel but the aftermath is clearly shown later).

On the roof SS gives Bear Boy $500,000 to find and rescue his scattered family, adding that if the money is used for drugs Savage Squirrel will personally murder him. Several months later, at his comedy club day job, Savage Squirrel spots the Care B family together, cleaned up and sober, enjoying a night together. He smiles at a job well done.

The second portion of Savage Funnies #2 is an origin story for The Mink. She is sitting enjoying coffee with an old friend, relating a tale many TF/BE fans should be very familiar with by now (even I had my own spins on the trope); as a college student she bought a book of magic spells that turned out to be real.

The flashback reveals how the dorky and average-bodied anthro-mink (who is unclothed for some of the flashback)  first learned levitation, then flight (the experience of which is said to only be matched by “good sex”), lightning blasts, and zombie raising. The last spell she talks about is the one that allowed her to reshape her “nerdy” form into “the body I’d always wanted” which is accompanied by a nice little nude sequence (only the space between her thighs is covered). When The Mink realizes no one recognizes her in this sex-bomb shape she drops out of college and – “having a body hotter than a porno star’s” – throws herself into “an orgy of the pleasures I’d been missing.” Yeah, that means silhouetted sex. With multiple partners.

The Mink goes on to explain that the reason the book she found is unknown, and the ones who wrote it aren’t around anymore, is because one of the wizards went crazy and the rest banished him to a limbo dimension. Except, of course, he managed to make his way into their dreams and trick all the mages into killing each other – with the downside now being that no one was around to free him. The book passed uselessly through history until The Mink found it…and by learning its magic opened her mind to his influence!

The final portion of the comic follows squirrel girl Caroline Long, who details how she first came to date Patrick Popper (whom I assume is the civilian identity of Savage Squirrel). There’s not much to the comic, just Caroline outlining a few dates and a topless declaration of her new found enthusiasm for life after Popper’s manic energy infects her. The comic ends with her wondering what the future holds for them, and me wondering what the purpose was for the short section.

THE FINAL VERDICT: Although some of the black & white violence is very over the top, I think it is a worthy buy, and only those who have no stomach at all for cartoony anthro-art should avoid it.

For those of us familiar with South Park, Family Guy, and Robot Chicken the concept of taking a beloved cartoon icon and horribly twisting it is no longer fresh. Keep in mind that the book predates even South Park by a year, and for 1996 I’m sure the Care B’s secret history as told to Savage Squirrel was really on the edge. But, for a modern reader, this revelation isn’t really shocking and the Savage Squirrel segment really feels like an excuse for SS to run around gruesomely murdering the scum of society. It benefits from having an actual ending (and a happy one at that), but your own moral compass will have to determine whether or not you enjoy this segment. And on the topic of Savage Squirrel I can’t really say I was all that wowed by the pages describing how he and his girlfriend met. I’m sure people may find enjoyment in both sections, but they’re not the reason I would recommend picking up this issue.

The best part of the book, and the part worth buying for, is the secret history of The Mink. Breast Expansion, magic, and a good amount of toplessness help carry along what is really an interesting origin. It makes me a tad sad to know that Savage Funnies never made it past issue #3…although I’ll certainly be keeping my eye out for it, as I am legitimately interested in The Mink’s fate (especially considering what’s advertised on the back cover).

Despite the great story regarding The Mink, I have to acknowledge that, even more so than some of the other comics I’ve reviewed, the art will really be what determines whether or not someone wants to buy this issue. And I’m not talking about the black & white aspect, which I actually had no issues with.

I’m well aware that when it comes to anthro or furry art (I keep using both because I feel the style really falls smack in the middle), many people are either for or against it. If you just don’t like cartoony part-animal characters who have always been part animal then there’s very little else to offer you in this issue.

However, for those of you who like (or or indifferent to) anthropomorphic characters, you’ll find few published examples of them being all types of bad with this quality of art. You’ve no excuse to not pick this issue up if you ever see it. Then smile; you’ll get to know what the haters are missing.