Take it Away, Tommy! – a Breaking Cat News Adventure

By Georgia Dunn (Andrews McMeel)
ISBN: 978-1-5248-6209-1 (PB)

Cats rule the world. Everybody knows it. Just ask social media and the internet. Those of us “blessed” with designated feline overlords also learn pretty quickly that they run the house too.

Some years back, illustrator and cartoonist Georgia Dunn found a way to make her hairy housemates earn their keep after watching them converge on a domestic accident and inquisitively – and interminably – poke their little snouts into the mess.

Thus was born Breaking Cat News: a hilariously beguiling web-based comic strip detailing how – when no-one is looking – her forthright felines form their own on-the-spot news-team with studio anchor Lupin, and field reporters Elvis (investigative) and Puck (commentary) delivering around-the-clock reports on the events that really resonate with cats – because, after all, who else matters?

Here then, after far too long an interlude, is the third collection of outrageous, alarming, occasionally courageous but always charming – and probably far too autobiographical for comfort – romps, riffs and rather moving moments starring a growing family of people and the cats and assorted critters that share space with them.

If you’re a returning customer or already follow the strip, you’re already au fait with the ever-expanding cast and ceaseless surreality, but this stuff is so welcoming even the merest neophyte can jump right in with no confusion other than which the author intends……

Dunn is a master of emotional manipulation and never afraid to tug heartstrings, and this time around a more formal narrative underpins the episodic joys. We learn more about the old converted mansion house the cats inhabit – as well as the history of the previous inhabitants and their humans – in an extended ghost story filled with chuckles and shattering poignancy. I’m not kidding. Bring hankies. Many, many hankies.

The first hints come in ‘The People have abandoned the Children’, build in ‘Something’s gotten into Puck’ and ‘There’s been… a disturbance… on the ceiling’ before ‘Things are getting Strange’ prompts The People into doing a little research and discovering what occurred in the old pile they are abiding in amongst numerous other cat-owning tenants. The mystery is finally resolved in a long-delayed ceremony and ethereal reunion in ‘The People are going outside’

More recognisable comedy fare comes as ‘Bacon has been spotted on the breakfast table!’, ‘It’s fuzzy blanket season!’, ‘The laundry is out of control’ and ‘Elvis has a new toy’ whilst the team expands after ‘There’s a new cat in the backyard’ introduces cocksure barn moggy Burt (who ultimately takes on the role of AV facilitator) and ancient wisdom source and problem-solver Baba Mouse (she’s a barn cat too and has been for a very long time)…

Recently rehabilitated wandering cat Tommy introduces his four-footed home-share companion Sophie. Could she be more than just a talented creative type? ‘Local artist creates magnetic masterpieces’ suggests otherwise, but Tommy is hopeful and persistent…

Covering traditional festive cat events such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, an edge of drama creeps in after the Robber Mice Gang abducts Puck’s greatest friend and toy, demanding an impossible ransom…

Outright war ensues until sagacious Baba intervenes, ensuring the Holiday Season and New Year’s are times of joy and rapprochement…

The rolling news continues with such items as ‘The Man has been groomed’, ‘The new plant is armed and dangerous’, ‘Elvis got into the butter’ and ‘Vacuum Cleaner Preparedness’.

Augmenting the tons of mirth and moving moments are further activity pages courtesy of Breaking Cat News: More to Explore! close out this tome: sharing how to create your own ‘Pet Rock Reporters!’, as well revealing the details of ‘The Big Pink House’ comprising their home, a map of ‘The Apartment’ . 

Warm, witty, imaginative, deliciously whimsical and available instantly in digital formats – as well as paperback should you be so inclined – this glorious romp of joyous whimsy will brush away the blues and dangle hopes of better times in your face until you swipe at with a frantic paw (well, probably not, but you know what I mean…).

Breaking Cat News is a fabulously funny, feel-good feature rendered with great artistic élan and a light and breezy touch that will delight not just us irredeemable cat-addicts but also anyone in need of good laugh. And there’s no better time than now for those, right?
Take it Away, Tommy! © 2020 Georgia Dunn. All rights reserved.