I was able to pick up a copy of Hip Flask #2: Elephantmen (originally published in 2003) but I'll make this review short. This is a very beautiful comic with great all around art. The story is beginning to progress and it's an intriguing one. The use of the "Elephantmen" as a reflection of many of the problems we face today (and problems we will always face) maybe hits you in the face a little too hard at times but it's still an important story. And the little tidbits that they come up with (the little frog that wants to rub the hippo's feet and such) really are enjoyable to see. The only complaint (and as you'll see, it's a minor one) is that they insist on making the speech bubbles semi-transparent. I guess one possible reason is that they want to try to avoid taking over the artwork but if that's the case, I would tell them that the artwork should not be the focus of the reader's attention. If the words the characters speak aren't as important as the background then you aren't saying much about the story/writing. The times that the speech bubbles were most noticeable (when there was heavy drawn detailed stuff behind them) I was kinda left wondering if they were whispering (so the writer was forcing the reader to look more carefully just as someone who was listening would have to listen more carefully). But since it was the same throughout the book (only more noticeable on certain panels) I can only guess they weren't all whispering all the time. Either way, I didn't think it was a good idea.
Anyhow, with the series kicking in I'd recommend picking these up to anyone looking for something "new" to read (maybe someone wanting to spread out from the big 2 comic companies).