…to remind people of this comic:
Over The Hedge isn’t just an animated film. It was a comic first, by Michael Fry and T. Lewis. And it’s fantastic. I’ve tried to search it on here several times and never found anything for it, which is deeply disappointing.
While the film is enjoyable, the comic is a much more fulfilling read, a great mix of dark humor and sweetness, clever and silly, a la Calvin And Hobbes.
It follows a similar formula, of RJ, a raccoon who is openly seduced by, and affectionately condescending towards, humanity, though he often misinterprets them, often in a way that subtly comments at the true silliness of the object or action.
His friend and companion Verne is a turtle who is helplessly pathetic and awkward, but entirely earnest in his exploits, and who at least possesses some form of common sense. He often attempts to teach other animals to read, exercise, eat healthy, etc, and is generally a voice of reason that is repeatedly quashed by RJ and his ease-of-living, pleasantly cynical, hedonistic outlook which is much easier to subscribe to and follow.
There are fewer characters than in the film, but each comic character has much more personality and sympathy to it, as well as being surrounded by several characters that play an equally interesting role; The Tree That Knows Stuff, Clara, the host of suburban house-dwellers, the snake-lawyer (“I accept small burrowing mammals in lieu of cash”), and Wif the chow-chow.
The art is mostly simplistic, rough sketching, but swarming with movement, detail, and life. Often the twisting, winding hedge features prominently in the background.
If you’re a fan of C&H and are looking for another comic that offers decent artwork, indentifiable characters, and a theme that can run from touching, to contemplative, to worrying, to just outright goofy, this is something I’d definitely recommend. It has a lot to say, and not enough people are listening.