From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays, No.177
Welcome back ya’ll to another week at our all-ages comics column, From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays!
This week the musical Cats announced that it was getting a revival, complete with a rapping cat being added in! Honestly, I don’t think even that could save this terrible show that has only one good song. One time while going through a break up, my friend Rich took me out to dinner and to see the musical Cats, which neither of us had ever seen before (side note: this is a completely normal thing for straight dudes who work in theater to do when having “bro, get over here” time). So we saw it…yeah, that happened. As you can pick up neither one of us were impressed by this terrible musical, and afterwards drowned our sorrows by crashing the opening party of a play at a nearby theater and taking advantage of their free drinks. BUT WAIT?! You are probably saying, “Hey, McCabe! This isn’t a friggin theater column! Where’s the reviews?!” Ah, the segue. So looping back to present, after hearing this news I started thinking about comics with cats in them due to how my brain is wired, and I thought we’d check out what Boom! Studios has been doing in their all-ages line lately with their great run with Garfield (praised a ton by us in this column over the past two years), and with their new title Bee and Puppycat!
To start, I know we have given Garfield high recommendations over the past two years in this column, but I have to say the fact that it has gotten to issue 27 is impressive in itself for not just any title, but an all-ages title. The series, including this issue, has been one of the finest examples of all-ages entertainment anyone with a sense of humor can pick up, enjoy, and get lost in laughter. Still, even though that is the case, sometimes that is not enough for a comic to keep on trucking even past issue 2. However, Garfield has done it for 27 and going, and that is something to acknowledge, and speaks volumes about not just the fan base behind the character but the quality of the material itself.
Issue 27 features two great stories. The first we are sucked into right from the get-go as Garfield investigates who ate the orange meringue pie that Jon baked. Was it the mice? Nermal? Maybe it was you, the reader? The smart comedic mystery just works on these comic pages. The second story is a nice play on the boy who cried wolf fable, and when a mean spirited mouse who likes to tell fibs for amusement starts tricking everyone, things go much to his amusement. However, when aliens show up to destroy Earth, it may be too late to convince Garfield and friends of the truth.
Writing by Evanier is smart, spot on with the characters, and just plain works in comic format. Anyone who hasn’t read an issue yet that fears the transfer from comic strip to comic book has nothing to worry about under Evanier’s writing. Art by Hirsch is great as well; layouts flow and the characters look how original creator Davis intended them to.
Garfield #27 came out this week, check this (or any back issue of this series, really) out for a good time.
This issue came out last month, and I didn’t get a chance to write up about it then, but what better time to write about it than now. Bee and Puppycat: love it! The latest series to come from Cartoon Hangover and created by Natasha Allegri, Bee and Pupycat is great. One thing that fails frequently is Ameri-manga. However, when something takes its inspiration from anime/manga but doesnt try to be anime/manga, and instead tries to be its own thing, it works very well, like Scott Pilgrim or the show Steven Universe. Bee and Puppycat falls into that “it works very well” grouping. It is that magical girl Sailor Moon/Creamy Mami category where the fantastic happens to an average girl creating an above average adventure for us to go on a ride with.
Not to give too much away, but issue 2 continues where we left off as Bee, along with Puppycat, gets a magical temp job where she ends up on a planet trying to fix a music box. The music box gimmick and how it is executed in the comic is itself really smart (literally smart, like use your smart phone smart to interact with the book), and how the story wraps up is of epic pay off level.
There is also a fantastic back story called “Cass” by Frank and Becky about one young woman, a dream, and luchadore mask. Excellently drawn as well as excellently executed on the page.
Bee and Puppycat has been a great time and I look forward to more to come! When the writing to art is this wonderful it validates becoming an addicting read, so I need more NOW, so get on that Boom-team!
That is all for this week, see you soon!