Hippo Ocracy, written by Chris Kostecka, artwork by The Yuan Brothers

Comic: Hippo Ocracy
Release date:  2018
Writer: Chris Kostecka
Artists: John Yuan (pencils/inks), Matt Yuan (colors)
Publisher: Bad Aura
Cover: full-color
Interior: full-color
Synopsis:  Khipo leads the hippo kingdom with his energetic blonde hair, political savvy, and lackadaisical demeanor. Along with his rhino wife Ronda and their half-breed, pacifier sucking son Rhipo they rule with total devotion from their subjects. Watch the insanity within his kingdom unfold as elephant royalty visits, and enemies from the past threaten to destabilize everything. All along the way, you will be introduced to fantastic over the top characters and subplots. Will the hippo's triumph over their enemies. 

The Deal

A couple of weeks ago writer Chris Kostecka of Bad Aura e-mailed me if I was willing to do a review of his two issues of 'The President Killed My Dog'. I said yes and in the same package he also sent me the TPB of Hippo Ocracy. I was impressed with the 'The President Killed My Dog' series so I stayed on the bandwagon and read Hippo Ocracy right after.

The Feel

The full-color cover of the TPB has bright and saturated colors. The ink has been fully absorbed by the satin paper. Unfortunately my cover has some darkened spots where the glue has leaked through. Now I don't know if it's on every book or if I just had bad luck, but to me it's a bit of an issue. But that could just be me as I am a perfectionist in this area. (I spend ages in bookstores, deciding which book in the stack was in the best mint condition.) The interior pages are made up of full color printed bleached matte, slightly  heavier than regular copy paper. The whole book is kept together with perfect binding. The colors really jump off the pages, which I always love. 

The Story

King Khipo with his wavy blonde hair (though that has settled a bit over the years) rules his kingdom with his wife Queen Rhonda. King of the elephants, King Hannibal visits and all is not well with him. The story takes off from there and has some really funny bits in it. Even Trump's infamous wall is mentioned. The squirrels living in the kings hair are a hoot, just don't make them angry... they are vicious creatures. The whole animal kingdom is presented with lizards, elephants, hippo's, a zebra, rabbits, bevers, squirrels and even some panda's. 
Overall it's a quick read, which is perfect for the storyline. It's a little bit crazy, a little bit nutty and very funny. The lizards are mean-looking although Carl with his pink boa is a bit off his rocker. 
My twelve-year-old son also read the story and he gave it a big thumbs up. He couldn't stop talking about it and made me promise to look out for the second volume. A week later he came back to me and asked if he could read it again. 

The Look

Chris Kostecka had good foresight when he chose The Yuan Twins to bring the story to life. The art is really complimentary to Chris' writing. The story lends itself perfectly to their drawing style. It actually made me think of a game called 'Castle Crashers' me and my friends used to play online where you have to slay everything in sight. 
The colors are slightly off due to my scanner. IRL the coloring is smooth.
The artwork and the bright color pallet are well thought out and really bring life to the story. My favorite panels are the fighting scenes between the rhino's and the lizards towards the end of the book.  Love the over-the-top violence and the red blood-soaked pages. Really calms and warms the cockles of my heart.

The Conclusion

All craziness aside. It's good. It's great. I love it. The story is easy to follow. English is not the native language for my son yet he could easily follow and understand the story. He even came back to me asking if he could read it again. In fact he can't shut up about when the next issue is due. I can't think of a greater compliment.
I finished the book in one sitting and it made me long for more. Since the end says 'The End--For Now' I presume there's another graphic novel in the future and we're ready for it. I'd buy this if I saw it in the shop or at a convention. It's fun, it's quick, it's a good way to pass the time. 

How to get a copy

You can get it directly from BadAura.com, where you can see a video preview of what the comic has in store for you and from any event Bad Aura attends. If you live in Illinois USA, they'll probably be close to you at some point in 2019. It looks like they have a full schedule. 

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