1986: Naive Inter-Dimensional Commando Koalas

Naive Inter-Dimensional Commando Koalas (1986) #1 by Sean Deming, Gerald Forton, Danny Green et al.

What’s this then?

This is the only comic book comic published by the Independent Comics Group, which may or may not have been just an imprint of Eclipse comics. All the other books they published were called things like The Official Hawkman Index. These books were solicited by Eclipse, so I it’s unclear why the Eclipse/IDG split was a thing.

As you can see, not a mention of Eclipse here, but the address (and editors and printers and everything) is the same as on Eclipse comics, so it probably didn’t fool anybody, if that was the point. And I wasn’t going to cover any of the IDG books in this blog series, but I changed my mind. So here we go…

This is in 1986, and the black and white boom (which would decimate the US independent comics business a year later) was getting into full swing. That boom had its origin with Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles, but didn’t become a phenomenon until Eclipse published Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamster, and publishers realised that they could publish anything, not matter how wretched, as long as it was in black and white, and retailers would buy tens of thousands of copies of it as “investments”.

While Eclipse were an important player here, they did try to keep things professional while publishing as many comics as possible. So here we have yet another one of these adjective-adjective-adjective-animal comics, but the artwork’s by Gerald Forton and looks quite nice. I can’t even guess at why they published it through the IDG imprint (which was nothing else but indices)…

Oh, yeah, the koalas live in Australia, so the first few pages are upside down.

But when they go through the dimensions and end up in the US, the artwork goes right side up.

And, yes, that’s a typical joke.

The aforementioned Hamsters make an appearance for a few pages, but don’t really have much of an impact on the plot, which there is a surfeit of.

(I like that they do the “courtesy of Eclipse Comics” wink wink thing.)

Perhaps this is why they did it though IDG? Throughout the Hamster invasion, there’s a lot of references to continuity, and perhaps that’s a parody of what the indices read like? Hm… Now I want to see one of the index series. OK, I just ordered the Justice League one, and it may or may not be the next article in this blog series.

Forton draws the koalas and the hamsters pretty indistinguishably.

I thought that was a good joke!

It’s a weird book. The first third is all slapstick and hi-jinx, and the last two thirds are about overthrowing a tyrant in an Arab country. There are some funnier bits in there, but there’s pages and pages of stuff like the above, which doesn’t really register as a parody of anything.

And we get some paper dolls, as we should.

It’s not easy finding any reviews of this book… Here’s a TMNT list:

Of all the funny animal stories on this list Naive Inter-Dimensional Commando Koalas is probably the silliest – and that’s not being disparaging.

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