Saturday, May 20, 2017

Cat Person

Cat Person is a fun and funny book, full of keen observational humor and not as many cat-centric comics as you'd think. I laughed at quite a few of the gags, but more often I sort of blushed/cringed with recognition at having had gone through similar situations.
The book is divided into a few thematic sections. The first is about Seo and her cat Jimmy, the second and third are about Seo's life, mundane routines, struggles with food, and creative struggles/triumphs. The fourth section focuses on aspects of her relationship with Eddie, which is partly long distance, and the fifth is a grab-bag of assorted gags.
If you have read many comics, you can see that the topics tackled here are not really novel, but this book does handle them in an enjoyable and fresh manner. What makes the whole thing work are two things: the expressive and vibrant depictions of the characters and the economy of storytelling that distills particular experiences and sets up the punchlines. Reading this book made me feel as an adult reader like I did when I was a little kid reading a Garfield book, being engrossed by moments of pure joy and hilarity. And I mean that in the most sincere way.

Cat Person was written and drawn by Seo Kim. She is a storyboard artist for the cartoon Adventure Time, and as far as I can tell this book is her only published work in comics to date.

All of the reviews I have read about this book have been positive. Publishers Weekly called it "a winner. Even the cat jokes are not tired—a difficult feat in a world saturated with feline cartoon books and webcomics." Amy Ratcliffe wrote that it "has its own charming flavor. And, since it is in the style of a journal, you can drop in and out of the book as you please." Whit Taylor called it "a delightful, entertaining read about the little moments in life. Kim’s adeptness at picking up situational nuances, tied with her simple yet whimsical line, hints at an artist who is able to use the inherent ridiculousness of everyday life to her advantage."

Cat Person was published by Koyama Press, and they have a preview and more info about it here. The book has some occasional profanity, so it is recommended for folks who are OK with that.

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