Review: Iron Rabbit
Review by David Ferguson
Created by Hugh Madden
The first I had heard of this book was when I was collating a list of books I was going to try and pick up at Thought Bubble. I was instantly intrigued by the art style and wondered what kind of story was going to be told. Our protagonist, known only to us as “Iron Rabbit”, is trying to get to the south to find something. He is making his way across an apocalyptic landscape filled with dangerous places and dangerous people. What makes this all different from other apocalyptic tales is the art style. The panels per page and the storytelling give this a European feel and I’d almost liken it to Tintin. Added to that the anthropomorphism of a lot of the characters and the almost cartoon nature of the violence, it creates a weird balance to the apocalyptic setting.
There is subtle world building aided through “silent” panels depicting the lives of the characters and the scenery. The story is given space to breathe. Characters are given more life through actions and gestures and there is a little bit of mystery surrounding some of them that keeps the reader intrigued. Hugh Madden uses all the powers of the form with little tricks like cutting off the word bubbles to depict a piece of speech fading in or out. I liked the use of time jumps as they gave parts of the story more impact. The main character was a big plus for me. With the mask, you can’t read his expressions and you get the impression he is liable to do anything. The mask reads as crazy. However, we manage to see some humanity in him from the aforementioned gestures and some of his actions. It all adds together to become a weird romp through the wilds that I found throughly enjoyable. More please.