As a stereotypical librarian, I could not resist a comic about a girl and her cat.
Bee, an unemployed woman-child in her 20s, meets a half- cat/half-dog with a mysterious past named PuppyCat who falls from the sky. PuppyCat opens the door into a fishbowl space galaxy of “temp jobs” given by temp bot, a huge monitor screen much like the acclaimed favorite Beemo, of Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time fame.
It just so happens that Allegri is one of Adventure Time’s storyboard artists who has become one of the most successful female filmmakers on Kickstarter raising over $800,000 last year to produce more episodes of Bee and PuppyCat as a web series. By examining the artwork, it is very easy to see that Allegri was highly influenced by the fluid iconic artwork of Kiki’s Delivery Service and other movies by Hayao Miyazaki. Like most 20- and 30-somethings can relate to, Bee doesn’t want to “adult” today on most days: she hopes that food magically appears—sometimes it does—and she dislikes cleaning or having to work. I can commiserate. It comes off as quite charming, as most of their temp jobs pander to her childish weakness of impulse control. Ironically, PuppyCat, becomes the always loyal eyebrow-raising parent to clean up after her in times of need.
Many of their adventures take them to random, far off places, much like Adventure Time, where the adventure might last only a few panels—it’s more about the journey! One story near and dear to my heart was when Bee loses a library book and must find it so she can keep getting Puppycat his music CDs.
Special thanks goes to the artists—the librarian didn’t have a hair bun, glasses, or cardigan. She had blue hair and she was nice. Guest spot illustrators draw each story differently, adding new elements to the story with each style. I also enjoyed small nuances such as their adventures to fix a broken music box that has QR codes leading to Youtube music videos for each box. The broken box emitted my favorite sound of the group. Another comic has paper dolls in the beginning pages.
As someone who has never seen the web episodes, I thoroughly enjoyed the dichotomy between Bee and PuppyCat. I cannot wait for more adventures.
Bee and PuppyCat, vol. 1
by Natasha Allegri
Art by Jackson Garrett
Publisher Age Rating: 8+