Writers: Stephen Brander, Dano Leblanc
Artists: Mick Harrison, Gene Fowler
Publisher: 2Tongues Comics
Published: June 2008
While away for the Thanksgiving weekend in New Brunswick, I visited Fredericton's Strange Adventures comic shop. Next to the cash register was a free comic titled The Adventures of Max Mallard - The Boy With Ducks For Hands. No, I didn't just make that up, and yes, it is a comic about a boy whose hands are talking ducks.
The first issue opens with Max's duck hands being fired upon by local NB hunters. As the duck hands fly Max to safety, the story flashes back to moments in Max's life. Unlike most first issue comic flash backs, this one doesn't have an origin as to why Max has ducks for hands. Conveniently enough however, the authors have posted a web address where you can explore Max's duck hand origin. Moving along, Max understandably has a hard life living with duck hands. He meets a man in a chicken costume that tells him the Magic Fiddlehead will cure him of his affliction. Finally, to cut a long story short, Max gets a job, meets some french speaking hockey players, and learns to converse with his duck hands. As for the Magic Fiddlehead, it's really just a plot catalyst to get Max to interact with his duck hands.
This was a bizarre comic. First off, Max's hands are talking ducks. It's hard not to giggle when you see a drawing of kid with his arms stuck up two ducks butts. Second off, the story was purposely written to get kids to tune into bilingualism. (To find out Max's duck hand origin, you have to visit 2tongues.ca, where you learn about NB bilingualism.) It's at about this point that the story starts to make sense. Only in a comic can you have a kid with hands made of talking mallards go on adventures with the intended purpose of promoting bilingualism. Because if you can't speak more than one language, you may as well be a kid with you hands stuck up a ducks butt.