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Doppler the rabbit is having a bad day. Constantly on the run from creatures like crocidogs who want to eat him, he is cornered when an elephant named Dodge falls from the sky.
That’s how Gregory S. Baldwin‘s Path (Com.x, 2009) begins, immediately setting the scene for the action to follow at these two unlikely friends try to travel to Dodge’s ultimate destination. It reminded me of Looney Tunes, if Looney Tunes had featured post-apocalyptic mutants (and a robot). It’s also a ton of fun and surprisingly touching.
Baldwin, who is a video game character designer, brings a loose, animated quality to this book. It jumps excitedly from panel to panel, page to page, and creates an engrossing world. Owing to the cartoon nature of this book, I never really questioned why Dodge can stand on his hind legs and has human-like hands. Doppler is all big eyes and floppy limbs, as a great cartoon rabbit should be. The sepia-toned pages evoke the rocky, unforgiving environment these two find themselves trying to navigate.
The majority of the comic is one big chase scene — along the way, many creatures with all kinds of combinations of teeth, tentacles and scales that, of course, mean our heroes great harm. The wise-cracking Doppler and the stoic Dodge are perfect foils for each other as they quickly become partners. Baldwin’s pacing is perfect, as the action moves from one problem to the next. While it is a fairly short book, there’s never any time to be bored. It’s always fun to see what crazy situation or creature Baldwin will throw out next.
The quiet ending feels a little abrupt after all of the action, but it’s also a beautiful and thoughtful conclusion to this story. I realized how much I’d grown to care about these two by the end. Ultimately, we all will find our path, but we should never forget that it’s our friends who helped us get there.
(A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.)