Book - The Misadventures of Grumpy Cat (and Pokey)

Susan Omand goes all crazy cat lady and reads a comics collection based on the internet’s most famous cat...

Cats and the Internet – they just seem to have a natural affinity for each other don’t they? Whether it’s owner’s cat photos (guilty as charged, sorry) cartoons, memes or videos, cats have dominated the web and especially social media for a long while now. One cat has attracted more internet attention than any other though and that is Grumpy Cat.

The real Grumpy Cat, whose proper name is Tardar Sauce (I know, right?), lives in Arizona with her real brother Pokey, and has a genetic disorder called feline dwarfism and a developed underbite which has resulted in her “grumpy” looking expression. She rose to fame after a picture of her, with a suitably grumpy caption, went viral on Reddit and the rest, as they say, is history. It was only a matter of time before the Grumpy Cat character got picked up in other media and that is exactly what’s happened with The Misadventures of Grumpy Cat (and Pokey) from Dynamite Entertainment.

The book is a collection of eleven stories, previously published in 3 volumes, featuring Grumpy Cat and her brother Pokey getting into all sorts of situations from treasure hunting to alien encounters to playing detective and superhero. Four writers – Ben McCool, Ben Fisher, Royal McGraw and Elliott Serrano - have taken turns at writing tales (or should that be tails) for Grumpy Cat and these are accompanied by art from three different artists in various combinations with the writers – Steve Uy, Michelle Nguyen and Ken Haeser (with colours by Mohan) – to give different and refreshing angles to the compilation. Consistency of reading though is maintained throughout by the same letterer working with all the stories, Bill Tortolini, which is a great idea.

In all the stories Pokey is the upbeat ideas cat, optimistic but inept, always game for anything and Grumpy Cat is...well...grumpy, nothing’s ever a good idea, always ready with a comment that is either cynical or sarcastic to put down her Tigger-like companion. Wait... that sounds like me... damn.

Apart from the realisation that I am actually Grumpy Cat without a tail, the main problem I have with this comics collection is that I grew up in the era that the original Garfield books were all the rage and it’s difficult for me to find anything much different about Grumpy Cat/Pokey and Garfield/Odie other than the lack of lasagne. However, that is not necessarily a bad thing because I know that I’m not the target demographic and there are, shock horror, people out there that either don't remember Garfield or won’t make the connection. Other than that the stories are easy to follow, well constructed and very entertaining. The artwork too is bright and cheerful and detailed enough to recognise Grumpy Cat, and the change of artists between stories didn’t mean a change in quality. You notice the slight difference in drawing style but it enhances the stories and doesn’t disrupt the flow between them like some art changes can. The other thing I really enjoyed about this collection is the Bonus Material where the main and variant cover art from the original publications are shown as well as the character sketches of Grumpy Cat and Pokey.

All in all a fun read that is suitable for all and surely a must have for fans of Grumpy Cat.

Image - Netgalley

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