Bunnies are cute, fuzzy, and not very bright. And in Andy Riley's works, they're also suicidal.
In fact, you can guess just from the title of Riley's "A Box of Bunny Suicides" what it's about. Both books in this set are full of one thing -- near-wordless cartoons of bunnies offing themselves in unique, creative, and sometimes overly complex ways.
It's a running gag, but you'll never guess how many of these bunnies choose to off themselves -- they involve corkscrews, DVD players, stalactites, cigarettes, seppuku, garden gnomes, lemmings, palm trees, Harry Potter books, pointy-nose jets, Christmas trees, colanders, and many other seemingly harmless (or at least not VERY harmful) ordinary items.
Some of the methods become more and more complex as time goes on, like an elaborate contraption involving a grandfather clock, a ladder, a candle, and a can of gasoline. One even has a bunny taking the direct way out, even with a bunch of dynamite on a precarious ledge over him.
There are even some pop culture references -- the bunny prepares to beam down from "Star Trek," gets toasted by the Terminator, hangs atop the Tardis, and infiltrates the legendary duel between Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Not to mention irritating the Eye of Sauron, and using Gollum for some bunny-stretching.
Yeah, it's basically a one-gag kind of humour,, but Riley manages to keep the chuckles rolling along through the two books. Part of the humor is in the ridiculous stubbornness these bunnies have to off themselves (for no apparent reason), and Riley's creativity in coming up with surreal methods for suicide.
There are a few duds, admittedly -- the deli counter one took me several reads to understand, since you have to pay very careful attention to note the bunny in this one. The overpass gag simply doesn't make much sense, and some (like the cheese grater) are just squicky. They're funnier when they're clever.
Riley's artwork is simple and clean, and his bunnies are amusingly stoic as they chase down death. And he shows a variety of bunny deaths -- some are gory, some are physically impossible, and some simply involve bunny parts flying bloodlessly. Some, in fact, only hint at the bunnies' demises -- and these tend to be the most hilarious of all.
"A Box of Bunny Suicides" compiles the two deliciously dark comic books, and they're just right for people with a sick sense of humour or a hatred of bunnies. Or both.