Apparently, in 1984, Nestle and Marvel teamed up to put out a free (although it claims "a 60¢ value") promotional activity/comicbook titled The Adventures of Quik Bunny. Now, I'm a longtime avid fan of comicbooks and NesQuik---or Nestle Quik, as it was called in '84---but was unfortunately born a few years too late to get my hands on a free copy at the time it was published. Luckily, about two years ago, I happened upon it in the "A:Misc." section of my local shop's back issues for the relatively fair price of a dollar. Somehow it had actually increased in value, according to them. So be it, I couldn't go home without it.
Now, obviously, it's for children. Very young children. So I'm not going to say that, on the whole, it's got any truly high-quality storytelling or art. But for what is, basically, 40 pages of Nestle Quik ads disguised as reading material, there's actually a lot of decent stuff in there. There are three complete and quite different stories with varying levels of humor, sometimes intentionally and sometimes less so. And the activities in between are, in a few instances, legitimately challenging.
We begin, logically enough, with Quik Bunny's origin story, "A Star Is Born." By far the least interesting tale, it's basically just Quik Bunny explaining that he came to Hollywood to be discovered, got noticed by a director while drinking Quik one day, and therefore became the star of all of Quik's commercials. What I like about this is that, even in this comicbook world wherein he's a real rabbit, he's still a commercial spokesman. A nationally famous commercial spokesman, but still just that, as opposed to, I don't know...the inventor of Quik or some similar nonsense. There's no attempt to make the character any more than he's ever been. In this first story, at least.
Next is "Treasure Hunt" which is essentially about how reading stimulates imagination. Certainly a solid and positive message. It's sort of lame that the bulk of the narrative takes place in Quik Bunny's dream, but at least that way we get to see him punch a guy in the face, since it doesn't really count. The real gem of this story, though, is one of Quik Bunny's friends, Paula. All of the kids QB hangs with in this tale choose to read books of very different genres, and Paula chooses one about a "space princess." This inspires the following hilarious moments in QB's dream:
Amazing. In the end QB is awoken by his pals and immediately sets to reading a new book so he can have a new dream/adventure. Because books are cool and reading is fun.
Finally, we have "Magic Time" with special guest star Spider-Man...sort of. There's no denying that the webslinger is, technically, present in the story, but he's not very much of an actual presence within it. Spider-Man chooses to help QB track down his stolen magic tricks, but for reasons unexplained does so entirely from the background. He leads QB to the thief and even offers some assistance when the time comes to take the bad guy down for good, but does it all without ever revealing himself or really even actively participating in what's going on. He uses his webbing to keep a strange level of distance from the action. I get it, this is Quik Bunny's title, so he and his chocolate milk need to be the ones to save the day in the end. But I'm not sure why that meant using Spider-Man as such a disconnected character instead of telling a proper team-up story. An odd decision, to be sure.
Regardless, the best part of the whole affair is the villain, Harry Houddidit, from his name to his look to his idiocy. Not exactly a criminal mastermind...
...but a fun and fitting sort of buffoon to cast in the role of QB's enemy.
The Adventures of Quik Bunny is a silly, stupid little comicbook, pretty much by design. It wants to sell Nestle Quik more than it wants to do anything else, if, in fact, it wants to do anything else at all. But if you were the target age for this book (I'm thinking 5-8) and actually went through it cover to cover, reading all three stories and fully completing each activity, I imagine you'd feel more than satisfied. Especially since, presumably, you wouldn't have spent a dime on it, and you'd be enjoying a delicious glass or carton of Nestle Quik while you worked.
The Adventures of Quik Bunny was published by The Nestle Company, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group and is dated 1984.