November 26, 2013

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Rafer Roberts Brings Nightmares to 2014

Nightmare the Rat. Watch out for your teeth!
Long-time Panel Patter favorite Rafer Roberts is bringing his popular creation Nightmare the Rat out of the pages of the Magic Bullet tabloid and onto the web starting in 2014, he announced recently.

Making his debut in Magic Bullet 1, the creature (who, while resembling Mickey Mouse, is actually based on a character from a Laurel and Hardy version of Babes in Toyland) is a mostly silent creature with one hell of an oral fixation. He goes around looking for unsuspecting victims and pulls their teeth--without any hint of Novocain.

The strip is absolutely demented, which is what you'd expect of Roberts, the creator of Plastic Farm. But what makes this one special is that Rafer based the style of the strip on the old-time newspaper strips. Instead of dialogue, though we get a few word balloons here and there, the story is told mostly in pictures, with a bit of text below each panel. It's a narrative trick that was quite popular in the early 20th Century, and Roberts uses it to great effect in this modern series.

The plan, according to Roberts, is to re-run the existing Nightmare the Rat material from Magic Bullet (and, hopefully, his cameo in House of 12 as well) starting on January 1st, 2014. Roughly in May 2014, all-new adventures will begin in a weekday strip style for about a year. Rafer promises that fans of Nightmare will still see him larger than life in Magic Bullet and that Plastic Farm fans will still get their doses of Chester and company at the same time (Roberts recently mentioned on social media that he has thumbnailed all of Plastic Farm 24.).

I'm really looking forward to seeing this, especially the new material. This is just such a fun character, and getting more of him during the year while still enjoying the Magic Bullet adventures is a treat. You can go ahead and bookmark the site now, which goes life January 1st, 2014.