By Georgia Dunn (Andrews McMeel)
ISBN: 978-1-52485-819-3 (PB)
Win’s Christmas Gift Recommendation: Silly Seasons Never Looked So Good… 10/10
Cats rule the world. Everybody knows it. Just ask social media and the internet. In fact, just ask your cat… if you dare. 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 (the ones with more than two feet) earn their keep after watching them converge on a domestic accident and inquisitively – and interminably – poke their little snouts into the mess.
Breaking Cat News began as 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?
And now they’re all over books such as this latest paperback/digital delight, as well as a slew of delightful merchandise…
Here then, after far too long an interlude, is the fourth collection of outrageous, alarming, occasionally courageous but always charming – and probably far too autobiographical for comfort – romps, riffs and devastatingly debilitating sad bits starring a growing family of people and the cats and assorted critters they share space with.
If you’re a returning customer or already follow the strip, you’re 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 that which the author intends…
Be warned though, 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. Keep hankies close.
It all begins in winter, resulting in an extended sequence about snow which opens with ‘There’s Nothing Outside’ With the news room abuzz, incidents come in such as ‘Tommy is in the Studio!’ featuring the former lost cat who became an outdoors correspondent semi-regular. The blizzard season continues until ‘The Sun is out and Man is forging a path into the Void!’ happily closes with the breaking report ‘The Real World has returned outside!’
Dunn is quite rightly fervent about cat welfare and a new (lost) kitten gets temporarily housed and named, leading to lots of larks and ‘Hunting Lessons are underway in the living room’…
The fate of the kitten rolls out throughout the collection (did I say “hankies”?) interspersed with many madcat moments such as ‘This Just In: The plant of many teeth has a new hat’, some rather salty commentary on the status of Corned Beef and a ‘Climbing contest in the laundry room!’
Spring comes and enquiring minds ask ‘Is it getting warmer yet?’, even as examination of and rumination over the nature of snakes and dogs is pushed off the schedule by ‘The Man brought home something called “donuts”’ and Bulletins like ‘The doorbell rang!’
Domestic reports reveal ‘The Baby is turning one!’, ‘There’s a fight in the living room’ and ‘Peep Toads are out!’ as well as an interview with the legendary Baba Mouse (a barn cat of tremendous vintage), but through it all pressure mounts in the newsroom and ‘Elvis is needier than usual’.
There are ‘New cat toys’ and revelations that ‘We may have an ally at the dinner table’ as well as Sophie’s new art installation and that ‘Elvis Fell asleep with his eyes open’. Before the newsflash that ‘Potty training is underway’…
There’s even a follow-up outside broadcast at the bookstore and the garden where an owl and a pussycat finally achieve their destiny, prompting a big criminal exclusive, an abduction and a manhunt (sort of…) before in the end Love Conquers All and it turns out fine again, thanks mostly to The Mice…
Augmenting the tons of mirth and moving moments are further activity pages courtesy of Breaking Cat News: More to Explore: sharing how to create ‘Wooden Spoon Dolls’ and providing an extensive tutorial on ‘Reporting News Around Your House’.
Warm, witty, imaginative, deliciously whimsical and available instantly in digital formats – as well as profoundly gift-wrappable paperback should you be so inclined – this glorious romp of joyous whimsy will brush away the blues and dangle hope of better times in your face until you swipe at it 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 to bedazzle and bemuse 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?
Elvis Puffs Out! © 2020 by Georgia Dunn. All rights reserved.