Mildly Microwaved Pre-Pubescent Kung-Fu Hamsters #1 (1986)
Just Imagine Graphix, Ltd.
Holy crap that title is a mouthful! This cover has it all! Gophers of differing shades of brown, obesity, a shimmering sun, bones, stereotypes, and pictures of all the animals they could have been (amoeba is my favorite). Let's not forget to include a title that using four different fonts in four different colors. When you see this book your eyes widen, your jaw drops, and before you even open it you think to yourself "...What?"
The book opens up with the Gophers in a secret government installation doing gopher stuff with a whole mess of other gophers when all of a sudden an Elmer Fudd ripoff shows up to hunt them down and somehow triggers a microwave bomb, presumably with his shotgun. The bomb kills every single gopher instantly, but our heroes were underground so they were ok during the blast. When they surface they get a heaping helping of radiation rained on them and start to gain muscle mass. What do the gophers do next? Go on a directionless journey together! They stumble upon a dude (who might be named Kung... it's a little unclear) complaining about whatever and camping and he teaches them how to speak by imitation as well as one panel of kung-fu which makes them pros.
So the Gophers are just chilling at the camp doing humanoid gopher stuff when all of a sudden a biker gang of senior citizens appears! They quickly dispatch (probably permanently) the elderly threat while a movie exec is driving by. The movie exec is impressed by the camping man's "special effects" and hires him immediately, leaving the Gophers alone again. They are once again aimlessly journeying when a bearded man in a windowless van picks them up and takes them to a diner where they start a food fight. they hastily run away and wind up in the Vault of Obscure Phrases. Then the bearded man and some other guy are standing in front of an easel with the Gophers lying on top and everyone is eluding to a secret. Secret has an asterisk that leads to a box saying "See Gopher Broke". This is the biggest mystery in comics. THEN on the inside back cover there is a contest to guess the secret and appropriately name each of the Gophers. THE END!
The art on the cover is close to 100 times more detailed than the art on the inside. The inside art is black and white and very sketchy. The shading is almost non-existent and the characters look relatively non-descript. It gets a little easier when they have differing hairdos or glasses or masks. The humans are drawn in a style close to some of the older MAD Magazine comics (which was kind of nostalgic). The action sequence when they fight the senior citizens is pretty fun though.
So that was Mildly Microwaved Pre-Pubescent Kung-Fu Hamsters. I laughed, I cried, and then I read this comic book. If you like other lesser known animal hero quartets such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and want to see a strange nonsensical knock-off then check this out!
If I were to pick one panel to sum up this issue, it'd have to be: