Cow & Buffalo by Mike Maihack, reviewed by Justin Unrau
Cow & Buffalo by Mike Maihack has funny animals doing silly things. It's like the comics you loved when you were a kid. Wackiness prevails and it's fun.
Is there anything funnier than large animals hanging out, being silly-stupid and making comments about how silly stupid they are and desiring omelettes? Yeah, there are, but Mike Maihack's Cow & Buffalo does its job with its premise.
The comic depicts the wacky adventures of Cow and Buffalo on their vaguely farmlike compound. Cow is the dumb one; Buffalo is the smart one. There. You're caught up. Except for the Hippopotamus named Cabbie; he's from the future. And sometimes there are dinosaurs. And Pig, the villain, when Evil's afoot. Everything is pretty safe and recognizable, light buddy comedy kind of stuff that's easy to step into at any time.
This Lunchbox Funnies comic has been around for 3 years in its weekly webcomic format, and if you've ever read a gag a day strip from 2003, you'll recognize some of the earlier jokes. One example: the obligatory "Livejournalling with nothing to say" comic. You'll recognize the punchlines of "You're not helping." The thing is that they're handled well. If I was reading comics for the first time away from the newspaper, I'd be satisfied. I'd find stuff like the fourth wall breakage (especially the held up black bars to create widescreen moments) hilarious. As it is, they're fine (and get better as you get nearer the present).
Storywise there is time travel and superhero escapadery and short stuff like sandwich making.. Some of the longer stories get a bit meandering. The time travel thing seemed to take forever, which was understandable since they went back to before time began, to the end of the world, back to the cretaceous and then... I forget. It was all powered by a superball though, so that's pretty good. The story hit its jokes the whole way through but I was very happy to see a The End eventually.
In the art department, I must admit that occasionally I get some of the characters confused. Cow and Cabbie have different styles of noses but sometimes I've just missed it. It started off black and white, but in the current strips Maihack is using some color as kind of a monochrome accent. These colors are quite muted, which I'm not sure fits the wackiness that's going on on the screen, but it does help give a bit of texture to the experience.
Just to finish this off here, Cow & Buffalo is funny, not in an Achewood kind of way but more like the comics I would have loved when I was ten. Wackiness prevails and it's fun.
A postscript: my favorite storyline was definitely "The Secret Origins of Cow", which answered a niggling question I had right from the first time I set eyes on the comic.