Jason Viola’s Herman the Manatee comic strip started with a simple premise: Herman is a manatee who is afraid of getting hit by boats, and who invariably gets hit by a boat. In this issue Jason moves beyond the gag joke, and begins to develop his aquatic world.
We see the first extended story line for Herman, as well as more of a personality for our aquatic mammal. Until now, Herman has sort of been a floating sad sack, but with the second half of this comic, we see him actually taking his life into his own hands.
When the boats disappear, and kiss-the-manatee tourism takes over his little patch of sea, Herman takes action against his human oppressors and their manatee accomplices. But his actions seem to be as wishy washy as Herman himself, and like everything he attempts, end badly.
“His characters are rendered with crisp, clean lines. Their expressions and body language are rich and animated.”
-Richard Krauss, Midnight Fiction [Full Review]