Hy-Breed, the

Posted: Tuesday, October 24, 2006
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Hy-Breed, the Writer(s): Randy Simpson
Artist(s): Steve Simpson
Publishers: Division Publishing (Self Published)
From: USA
Price: $2.50(US)

The Hy – Breed is a comic that simply should not work. An on going adventure story that deals with espionage, international intrigue and a kidnapped submarine and focuses on five anthropomorphic characters who not only interact with the real world but seem to be trying to save it whilst coming to terms with their unusual abilities and general place in the whole order of things. It shouldn’t work because the initial impression formed of the half animal and half human characters is that they just seem a little silly, I mean we have a pig with angel wings wearing a suit, a power dressed horse with a cup of tea and a mohawked dog, and we are depending on them for our security?

Much to my surprise though after a few pages I found myself really warming to the story and the characters, so well done you Simpson boys, your comic shouldn’t work but it does. The main reason for this is that the character development and characterization generally is well handled and this enables the reader to suspend belief and accept the characters for what they are.

I was a little worried about coming into a story arc that at #10 was well into its story arc. Thankfully the creators have included a succinct and informative introduction which ensures that the new reader can pick up the basic storyline not only enjoy but also understand what is going on.

Back to the animals though, initially they struck me as being a little too ‘Disneyfied’ which means that they appeared a bit too cute to take seriously, but I got over it. When the female horse changed into a tight fitting action costume revealing her very sexy figure though, well I found that just plain uncomfortable. If it took me a littlie while to take the heroes seriously I certainly had no problem relating to the ‘baddies.’ The evil ‘Full Force 5’ are great villains and the guy with the big horns is just wonderful, awesome in fact.

There is much about this comic that is commendable. The art work is generally of a very high standard and of particular note is the skilful rendition of machinery [submarines etc] and animals, especially the orca [but not the sexy horse, that is still just wrong].

There are a nice range of angles employed and the use of foreshortening is handled with considerable skill. In the same way though there are areas that aren’t as effective. The lack of, or minimalist use of, guttering makes many of the pages appear to be too crowded and can lead to visual confusion.
The storyline is comprehensive and detailed but on a couple of occasions comes close to becoming too wordy.

The fact that the story takes place in the near future [Sadam is alive and well in Iraq] is another aspect that should work against the comic, given that the characters are just so futuristic, but the Simpsons get away with this one. The attempts at humour don’t always work and whilst it is commendable to attempt to weave in topical references the Steven Segal and Disney references just seem a little forced.

Overall then this comic should be stupid but it isn’t, it is an enjoyable read that works.

In a Word: Bestial.

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