Gung Ho for Equality

An article by, Aaron Burton

Perception is everything. There are two sides to every story. Everyone who is susceptible to skeptical and rational thought have heard this advice many times. Our bias toward the world we live in causes us to make presuppositions in our logic and arguments. No matter how objective you try to be, these assumptions are always persistent in our thinking and communication.

I can't think of a single time I have asked someone if they like pizza. I've asked people what type of topping they like. I've had what feels like endless discussions about crusts, shapes and sauces. Pizza is one of the most popular foods in American culture, and I make the assumption that every person I meet likes it. This is a small bias that I have and it has affected my behavior. Add this bias to every other possible opinion and it is easy how important perception really is.

Gung Ho is written by Mike Loniewski with art by Mihajlo Dimitrievski and lettering by Marco Della Verde. It is published by Red Fox Comics. There is currently one issue of the comic available which was released in November of 2017.

Oliver is an ape who lives in a world where anthropomorphized animals live among st humans. The animals make up the lower class in the societal structure. Oliver is known to the world as Gung Ho, and is known for his involvement in a militant group of animals. After betraying his leader, Gung Ho attempts to promote equality in his own heroic way. 

Gung Ho is a story of perceptions, and does an excellent job of layering them all together. The plot contains multiple facets of oppression. The militant animals can been seen as freedom fighters or terrorists. The super heroes might be protecting the world, or they could be oppressing the animals in the name of humans.  Are the humans bigots? Or are they correct about the dirty, uncivilized animals?

This book excels at building a world where its inhabitants embody a variety of opinions and biases. Each group in Gung Ho has their own ideology on how to fix the world. Some characters want to fight oppression with violence. Others want to see a peaceful resolution. There are open-minded characters who are willing to change their perception while others are stuck in their ways.

Gung Ho is as fun as is it thought-provoking. The animals are drawn in humanoid form and have blended into American culture. Readers are treated to hoodie-wearing iguanas, a ape in a monkey suit, and a buff tattoo-covered rhinoceros. There are even fantasy-style characters such as dwarves and elves.

The art in Gung Ho is colorful and detailed. This lends itself well to the book's over-the-top combat and sarcastic sense of humor. Gung Ho finds a way to discuss serious ideas without holding back on humor and action.

I will admit, when I saw the cover art and summary of Gung Ho my biases kicked in. I assumed this book was going to be gritty and serious. I was surprised and delighted at how well the story was able to blend multiple tones and elements. The writing and artwork compliment each other perfectly. This really helps bring the book to life. I hope there are many more issues of Gung Ho in the future.

Gung Ho is available on Comixology.

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