How are you feeling lately? Stressed? Overwhelmed? Worried? Anxious? There’s no shame in that — we all are, by and large, I’d safely wager. And while there may not be a cure for COVD-19, last year the great veteran cartoonist David Lasky prepared, and self-published, a cure in advance for all of your entirely understandable psychological woes in the form of a deluxe, generously-sized illustration ‘zine called Cat-Tropolis.
Unless, ya know, you don’t like cats — in which case, your opinion holds no weight around these parts, nor among cultured, civilized peoples in general. But hey, good luck with everything, regardless.
Musical cats, astronaut cats, robot cats, detective cats, mad scientist cats, super-hero cats, Log Lady cats, Bowie cats, Cobain cats — and even cats just doing everyday cat stuff, some drawn in black and white, others in lush color, are what this book is all about, and I defy you to find a better subject. Lasky is intimately aware of the quirks and foibles of feline psychology, as well as the unique demands required to represent their physicality with something approaching (admittedly exaggerated) authenticity, and it shows — there’s literally not a single drawing herein that you won’t want to spend time with, take in fully, and that you won’t find yourself more or less reflexively amused and charmed to death by. From where I’m sitting, that makes this perhaps the single-most necessary comic you could possibly add to your library right now.
And yes, I realize full well how absolutely grandiose that sounds, but I mean it with all sincerity and I say it without a whit of facetiousness attached. This is a book that makes you feel good because it’s about something that’s inaruguably good. And cats are good whether they’re sketched quickly or drawn in gorgeous detail, whether they’re rendered in pencil, colored pencil, ink, or any combination thereof. They’re cats. They rock. And you know it.
And not just because they’re cute, although that doesn’t hurt. Cats are great because they’re independent, they’re curious, they’re goofy, they’re nuts, they’re feisty, they’re frantic, they’re true to themselves — they give no fucks, except when they do, and they’re forever living their lives on their terms either way. We could all stand to take a few life lessons from that, it seems to me, and if you’re wondering if a bunch of drawings can capture all of that — and then some — rest assured that the answer is an absolute and emphatic “yes.” No, make that a “hell yes.” And say it loud. Then watch how your cat reacts. I bet he or she will do something that makes you smile, at least on the inside.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that as far as reviews go, this one is relatively slight and insubstantial — there’s nothing to delve into deeply with this ‘zine, no thematic subtexts to ponder over, no characterization to analyse and/or rationalize, no dialogue to evaluate for its authenticity or lack thereof. There’s just a bunch of awesome cat illustrations here — 24 pages of them — and if that isn’t precisely what we all need right now, then I honestly don’t know what is.
Cat-Tropolis is available for $7.00 from John Porcellino’s Spit And A Half distro at https://www.spitandahalf.com/product/cat-tropolis-by-david-lasky/
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