Come on, look at that name! Who doesn’t want to read about wrestling midgets and monkeys? The title was what drew me to read this in the first place. Monkeys and Midgets is a simple, comedic read full of moral underlying values. It reminded me of a time before the ‘gray area’ new age comics, when heroes were always good and the villains were clearly bad. None of this misunderstood bad guy crap or the good guys killing innocent bystanders. Monkeys and Midgets is a breath of fresh air amongst the comics that have forgotten that their stars are the heroes we secretly wish we could be.
Not to say this comic should be taken very seriously though. I mean, it is about monkeys wrestling midgets. Or rather, the Empire Wrestling Leage’s in trouble due to some, ahem, misplacement of money via poor management. In order to save the League, a new publicity gimmick is introduced – wrestling monkeys. Obviously this is where the comedic fun starts. Panels full of poo flinging and wrestlers getting their butts handed to them by apes had me laughing at every new page. The talking monkey-man, El Macambre, was a nice touch too. There’s a variety of monkey fun; it’s not like they don’t all have their own personalities! Some would rather just hang out in the sun with some banana goodness, my kind of monkey, while others enjoy their wrestling and take it quite seriously.
Also, before you get bent out of shape, Monkeys and Midgets isn’t as politically incorrect as you might think. Yes, there are midgets, but in no way, shape or form does this book make fun of midgets. In fact, their size isn’t even brought up. The story just happens to be about smaller wrestlers. It’s a bit like that movie The Terror of Tiny Town, a western with a full cast of midgets. Their size wasn’t brought up or explained why midgets, it just happened to be a movie with a cast of midgets. There are a couple drag queen jokes that I will admit to giggling over. Monkeys and Midgets is meant to bring hilarity and good fun to the masses… and it does!
Simplicity is the key to this comic. It doesn’t worry about a plot that’s so in depth that the reader’s left confused and wondering what just happened. Its artwork is a lot like that. Danielson focuses mostly on the characters and the current action that’s happening in the panel. The backgrounds are generally bland to bring more attention to what’s going on. I can imagine drawing midget wrestlers would be difficult due to the musculature, but they look like I’d imagined. The facial expressions on the monkeys were by far my favorite part of the book. When one of the wrestlers insulted the female monkey, you could clearly see her get more enraged before the outward blasting of monkey poo was flung and the resulting retreat of the group.
Overall, I adored the book. The combination of the relationships between the characters and the hilarity of the monkeys made for a good read. The storyline and artwork blended together to create a fun world that any reader can lose themselves in.