Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Fish Police Special #1

Fish Police Special #1, July 1987, COMICO The Comic Company
writer/artist: Steve Moncuse
colorist: Tom Vincent
letterer: L. Lois Buhalis
editor: Diana Schutz

I don’t know if a comic book with “police” in its title is a natural follow-up to The OJ Simpson Story, but something is definitely fishy about both. In this case, fish actually star in this story, in what I can only describe as Snorkles meets Quantum Leap. In his introduction, creator Steve Moncuse describes this issue as his first in color, and as a prequel to his ongoing Fish Police series. I don’t know if either efforts or admissions were worthwhile. Firstly, this story was so aloof that it barely kept my attention, and secondly its “talking head” pace hardly warranted any extra visual dimension, let alone color. However, considering yesterday’s review, I wonder if I should steer clear of such criticism. Let’s focus on the story, shall we?

In Fish Police Special, a metal-barbed fish named Hook and an investigative reporter octopus Oscar attempt to preserve the life of Gill, a police officer fish that seems a little out of his skin. Despite his fishy appearance, his thoughts seem to imply a sense of confusion and frustration, as if Gill were either the victim of a mind/body swap or a raging case of amnesia. Unaware of the monster hiding in his bathroom, Gill is too preoccupied with his befuddling predicament than to help Hook and Oscar defeat the beast, fulfilling some of prophecy. I’m sure faithful readers of Fish Police understand the significance and chronology of these events; me, as an outside . . . I don’t get it. I’m a fish out of water.

I will say that Moncuse had a strong concept on his hands, and he personified the creatures of the sea well, but with a series so mired in its own back-story, it’s no wonder we don’t see fresh catches of Fish Police on the stands today. The Ninja Turtles have cornered that market, and Eastman has maintained the spirit of the original graphic novels enough through his self-publishing ventures to fill the “weird talking humanoid animals” genre. Still, it might require more looking into. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This was my favorite comic when I was in junior high (black and white versions). You're right in thinking the story is mired in its own backstory... but for its time, it was a very innovative indie comic. Sadly, Steve Moncuse sold out and this comic was turned into a lousy animated series that had nothing to do with the comic book.