Monday, 16 March 2015

Bee and Puppycat, Volume 1 Review (Natasha Allegri, Garrett Jackson)

Bee is a happy-go-lucky, sometimes employed temp worker with a talking, grumpy pet called Puppycat. The two go on magical adventures/jobs to other worlds and dimensions assigned to them by a giant talking monitor with a smiling face! The rest of the time they’re sat around eating sweets, thinking of delicious food and lamenting the mess around them. 

When I picked up the first issue, I had no idea Bee and Puppycat was a hit Youtube series, I just randomly picked it because I was looking to read a comic I knew nothing about, but I’m glad I did. While it is a very girly all-ages comic, it’s also unexpectedly trippy and very imaginative. Bee’s temp jobs aren’t some boring office worker stints answering phones but quests to distant worlds with fantastical creatures, such as looking for a cosmic mermaid’s son! 

Like a lot of female artists, Natasha Allegri’s art is heavily manga-influenced, adding to the cutesy nature of the comic and it’s this look, coupled with the trippy nature of some of the stories, that makes me think of this as an inspired cross between James Kochalka and Grant Morrison (what a great combo)! 

I also liked that Allegri made Bee a normal-looking girl – not thin, not fat, just ordinary-looking like most women are. Though she may not be the ideal female role model as she’s a tad too lazy and a bit too crazy, but she seems like someone a lot of the audience will like and relate to. And Puppycat is just adorable, that cat with the grumpy expression, dawww, just like that other Youtube real-life cat with the grumpasaurus chops!

A lot of different artists and writers contribute stories to the book so it’s more of a collection of short stories starring Bee and Puppycat than the sustained singular narrative I was hoping for. As it is, the patchwork of tales are just ok but I feel like they’re just a bit too light and throwaway to add up to much. And, because I don’t watch the show, I didn’t understand some of the references so I was a bit lost at times. 

I liked the unusual flavour to it and I’m glad I read something I wouldn’t usually but I found this book to be a bit of an unsatisfying read in its hyperactive nature of jumping from one short to another. Then again, younger readers, as well as fans of the show, might love it for this very same quality and I’m just being boring! Clearly I’m not the target audience here but Bee and Puppycat Volume 1 is nevertheless a playful and fun comic suitable for all ages. 

Bee and Puppycat, Volume 1

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