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Somebody’s First Comic Book: Roger Rabbit #1

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TITLE: The Trouble With Toons & Good Neighbor Roger

Kate Worley & Doug Rice
Rick Hoberg, Dave Simons & Bill Langley
Len Wein
Disney Comics

PRIOR KNOWLEDGE: I know Roger Rabbit! He was framed, if my memory serves me correctly.

IMPRESSIONS: The comic seems to pick up shortly after the end of the movie. Roger Rabbit goes down to the Ink and Paint Club to find that it’s been trashed and rushes to his buddy, Detective Eddie Valiant, for help in solving the case. But Valiant has been swamped with business ever since he and Roger defeated Judge Doom (in the movie), so he sends Roger to his buddy Rick Flint. Roger and Flint set out to find the man who destroyed the club, and a new partnership is born.

This comic book felt like the first episode of a movie-spinoff TV show where the producers couldn’t get the original actors in for more than a cameo. Flint isn’t really that interesting a character – he’s a generic old-school detective who doesn’t seem to bring anything to the story that couldn’t have been served just as easily by using Eddie Valiant. I can understand how, if this had been a TV show, getting Bob Hoskins would have been rather difficult. But we’re looking at a comic book here. Why couldn’t they draw Valiant instead of coming up with a low-rent substitute?

The second story, “Good Neighbor Roger,” is much better. This one is set in Toontown, where Roger is upset to learn his new neighbor is a weasel. (Remember them from the movie? Roger, understandably, has a bit of an aversion to weasels.) Roger decides to make nice, though, and hilarity ensues. This one feels like an old-fashioned cartoon with more modern writing, and I liked it a lot on that level.

Not a bad comic book, I guess, but I’d be more interested in reading more of Roger’s Toontown adventures than the Adventures of Rabbit and Flint.


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