Brand new from BOOM! Studios’ all-ages KaBOOM line, is Bee And PuppyCat. Based on the webcartoon of the same name, the comic is described as ‘a quirky take on the magical girl genre.’
If you’re unfamiliar with it, Bee And PuppyCat is a comedic story following a young woman and her animal companion as they complete zany jobs for money. The original animated short is online for free so you can happily familiarise yourself with them fairly easily. As for the comic itself, it’s basically what you’d expect. Which is to say it’s silly, it’s funny and it looks great. Better yet, it’s drawn and written by creator Natasha Allegri with Garrett Jackson co-writing. Madeleine Flores then writes and draws a whole extra story at the back.
The story starts with Bee waking up in her apartment and wondering what to do… before going back to sleep. Everything is done in a very lighthearted and wholesome way, it’s hard not to smile while reading. Afterwards we get a very trippy dream sequence where Allegri demonstrates how diverse her artwork really is. Colour is used especially effectively as the warm soft bedroom gives way to the dark and ethereal dream. It actually feels like you’re looking at high quality frames from the cartoon.
Flores’ backup story is easily just as enjoyable as the first, albeit with very different art. It’s even more stylised with a watercolour vibe to it but it still retains that same anime inspired look. Interestingly the second story seems to directly tie in to the original story from the source material, meaning if you’re unfamiliar with it you might feel a bit left out. Speaking of which, the target audience for this issue is very clearly those who are already familiar with the characters, there’s very little in terms of explanation. It’s not as if there is some complicated plot to follow, but when the story is this strange to begin with it means you might feel even more perplexed if this is your first encounter with them.
If you’re a parent looking at getting this for a child then I’d say the content is easily right in the Adventure Time zone, which is to be expected considering Allegri works on the show. There’s nothing that’s unsuitable for kids here but there’s definitely a vibe that this isn’t necessarily written for kids first. I think teenagers will get more of a kick out of this than anyone aged under ten. That said, I’d never deny a kid the chance to read this if they were already fans of similar shows, it just might not appeal to them the way it will with a slightly older audience.
The only real downside to the issue is that, as with most cartoon adaptations, it reads quite quickly. The art is fantastic in both stories but the big panels and sparse use of dialogue mean that although it’s pretty, it’s also pretty short. Altogether though it’s a solid issue, it’s fun and it’s incredibly nice to look at but it’s perhaps a bit light. If you’re a fan of the animated short then this is a guaranteed buy, it’s exactly what you’re expecting. Everyone else though might want to check out the original themselves first as this isn’t necessarily to everyone’s tastes.