Saturday, October 29, 2022

REVIEW: Cat's Cafe (graphic novel)

Cat's Cafe
is a gently humorous slice-of-life graphic novel.


In this full-color collection, Cat runs a cafe that's intended as an emotional refuge for the other animals in the area. Rabbit is Cat's anxious new assistant. Penguin is a regular at the cafe, and utterly addicted to coffee, and Kiwi is Penguin's friend. Armadillo seems grumpy but is actually more grumpy-nice. Axolotl is cool. Snake is lonely and appreciates when others include them. Gator is an artist with imposter syndrome who's nursing a crush on Cat. Hyena has depression but tries to hide it. And so on...

I believe this started off as a webtoon. Most of the comics in this volume are 4-6 panels, and the whole thing functions as an emotionally gentle warm fuzzy blanket. Some of the characters are struggling a bit more than others, but everyone is supportive in their own way. I was reminded, a little, of Winnie the Pooh, although this was more direct about its mental health aspects.

As I was reading this, I repeatedly got the urge to show various pages to people in my life. There's something for just about everyone, whether you're here for the coffee, the emotionally supportive pep talks, or the coffee shop moments. Although this was overall a very gentle collection, there are a few strips that may hit a bit harder depending on your own experiences - the one on page 130 made me wish for a happier moment for Hyena immediately afterward.

I enjoyed this. The artwork was cute and the topics were relatable. There's another collection, called One Cup at a Time, that I plan to read at some point as well.

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