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Ratfist TP Paperback – January 3, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Image Comics (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607064782
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607064787
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 6.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #560,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Made me laugh and think.
R
Normally Doug's art is black and white, but this one has the added bonus of having color, just to help make the characters stand out even more.
Andy Shuping
Doug has created yet another fun comic that is as creative as it is fun.
Aaron Lee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alt on March 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
Ratfist was born as a web comic but I first read it in its print version. Doug TenNapel appends an interesting discussion of his experience developing a web comic, providing some insight into the business model he followed and the help he received. I think it would be useful reading for anyone who wanted to publish a web comic.

As a superhero parody, Ratfist amounts to a collection of jokes (some amusing, some not so much) overlayed on the story of a rat-loving costumed hero (of sorts) who finds himself transformed into a human-size rat. Despite this not-very-promising premise, I enjoyed Ratfist, in part because it was silly enough to make me chuckle a few times, in part because I admired the art. The story just barely makes sense (okay, maybe it doesn't) but when you're reading about a rat/human hybrid who battles a dog/human hybrid (and a monkeytrout) while seeking the help of a pagan tiki statue from outer space, sense is not the first word that leaps to mind.

TenNapel mentions that the comment section of his web comic came to be dominated by discussions of politics and religion. Both of those topics are central to the story he tells in Ratfist. TenNapel uses satire to make a moderately serious (if largely ineffective) point about the danger of governmental attempts to regulate "fairness," but that issue is too complex to address in a story that largely consists of gory fistfights. He also uses satire to illustrate the nature of democracy and greed: "Don't expect angels to solve all of your problems when you can just as easily vote" followed by "But how am I supposed to get my way if all I do is vote?" Frankly, if there had been more takes on politics and religion and less silliness I would probably be a bigger fan of Ratfist, but I nonetheless recommend it, albeit for the art more than the story.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Andy Shuping on February 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
Ratfist is your basic average guy. I mean he's got a girlfriend he's about to propose to, a steady job,a pet rat, and of course he's a hero of the city. Well mostly. But he's about to give the hero biz up after one last case, so that he can marry his girlfriend. But this last case has nothing normal about it. He discovers the Space Tiki who can take the souls out of one creature and give them to another. Which is how Ratfist comes to really look like a rat, with a tail and everything. He travels 4 years into the future, again courtesy of the Space Tiki, and discover that the world has drastically changed. And in order to make things right he may have to give himself up entirely.

Doug TenNapel has this habit of creating characters that seem mostly normal, but with flaws (you know the type the ones that you could meet in real life) and by the end of the book they've learned some type of lesson. And I love it. Even though the characters can go a bit overboard, I mean this one is a guy dressed in a rat suit, he's easy to relate to. You can understand why he does what he does, even if you don't agree with his methods. Even the battles between the heroes and the villains are more battles of gray than black and white. The story has a nice easy to pace to get into and I love the special visit from Earthworm Jim (one of Doug's other creations) and even that Doug himself appears in the book.

I love Doug's style and this book is no exception. He has a blocky, line style that really reminds me of some of the old German Expressionist woodcuts that just creative this evocative feeling of movement within the work. Normally Doug's art is black and white, but this one has the added bonus of having color, just to help make the characters stand out even more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Denes F. House on December 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
Got this for Christmas from my wonderful wife, and I can't recommend it highly enough. Bleak, funny, subversive, poking fun at the shibboleths of our time, insightful, and steenking hilarious, Ratfist is like nothing I've ever read before. Oh, and did I mention poignant? And absurd? I'm running out of adjectives. I read it for free online when it was a webcomic, and it was STILL worth buying now that it's out in paperback.

And yeah, it has probably the absolute WORST (but still funny) Spider-man puns ever written.

And the introduction by Michael J. Nelson of MST3K/Rifftraxx is almost worth the price of the book by itself. You'll laugh till you cry, and cry till you laugh.
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Format: Paperback
It's a bad book. I don't understand how Doug has any fans when he accuses his typical fan (someone in the Millennial age bracket) of being immature, selfish, lazy, vain, and generally despicable via the way he tells us the main character acts. Note: he TELLS us the character has these negative traits, though not once do we ever see him act in such a manner. There's even a scene where Earthworm Jim (a fond memory for the average Tennapel fan) calls the main hero a, "freakish perpetually adolescent rat-suited man in midlife crisis," and the only thing that accurately describes that character is rat-suited. At no point does the character actually SHOW any of those characteristics. Also: the character says, "Earthworm Jim! I feel like I'm 5!" If EWJ came out in 1994 (which it died), then our guy having the midlife crisis is 25.

In addition to poor and inconsistent characterization, the plot is a razor thin allegory about Doug's paralytic fear of government intervention in the activities of corporations. Any discussion of whether those fears are grounded or not aside - the story greatly suffers because characters and motivations must necessarily become so flat and obvious in order for the allegory to work. It isn't so much an interesting analysis of complex ideas as it is a lazy diatribe. Which might be fine if it were funny. It isn't even really so much an allegory or a parable (since those require the true meaning be hidden behind a system of symbols) as it is anthropomorphic rats and cats telling you that if you prefer the government run corporations, that you're lazy, narcissistic, and stuck in prolonged adolescents.
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