Thursday, 26 June 2014

Journey Into Mysterious Comics #1: Bee and Puppycat #1 Review (Natasha Allegri, Garrett Jackson)

Each week we read comics we know and love – that’s why we read them! But what about the scores of other comics that get published that we don’t read? In Journey Into Mysterious Comics, I’ll pick up a random comic I know nothing about each week and review it. Maybe I’ll strike gold and find a great new title to follow, maybe I won’t – but I live in hope!

Join me each week as we… Journey Into Mysterious Comics!

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Right away, I noticed something different with this one – as my comics were being rung up in the shop, the counter woman pointed to the cover of Bee and Puppycat #1 and said “that cover is awesome!”. She didn’t say anything about the other comics I was buying. It’s not a bad cover, but it’s very… girly: manga girl and mean-looking cute cat against a colourful background.

I should say that I’m making my random picks based on little more than the cover, so when I opened up the comic I wasn’t sure what to expect. Turns out this comic is drawn in a very manga-like way and I feel that it’s aimed at younger readers purely on the overly cutesy style – but it’s quite pleasant art from Natasha Allegri.

The story follows Bee as she recounts getting her pet Puppycat – a cute talking animal that’s part puppy and part cat – which became SO unexpectedly trippy! Bee falls asleep and she enters this weird nether-realm where Puppycat enters her body through various holes – it’s kinda Freudian! And then later when Bee gets locked out of her place, Puppycat can’t open the door to let her in – “I’m too small” he weeps. Is the comic working through some bizarre sexual issues via an almost Grant Morrison-esque lens? (By the way, it’s not creepy, she’s of age – then again, it is interspecies…)

Looking at the bare bones of it, it’s a fairly mundane comic – Bee gets a pet and then a temp job – so kudos to writers Natasha Allegri (who’s also the artist) and Garrett Jackson for being so creative in turning it into this magical-realist tale. Eg. a floating monitor with a face and wings gives Bee her job = Bee checks her email to find a job offer in her inbox, etc.



The second part (written by Madeleine Flores) features Bee and Puppycat visiting the world’s worst bakery – they literally have fresh fish laid alongside fruit pastries!!! Bee’s wearing a kerazy dress which looks like it’s been starched to hell, stood up around her like a cloth tutu, which barely covers her knickers!

Then, of course, they get abducted by the monitor with a face and wings, are beamed into a weird alternate universe and visit a weeping mermaid – see what I mean about Grant Morrison-esque madness!!??! I love it!

I feel like the $3.99 asking price is a bit steep seeing as you can breeze through this in no time, but I was really pleasantly surprised by this one. I was expecting yet another cat-themed girl comic and got something more like Grant Morrison crossed with James Kochalka – a combination I never knew existed but am glad it does!

Great stuff, guys, and a great comic – check it out everybody, this one will surprise you!

What a delightful start to the column! 

From Kaboom! Studios and Cartoon Hangover, Bee and Puppycat #1 by Natasha Allegri and Garrett Jackson is out now

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