- Posted by Johanna on January 21, 2006 at 3:37 pm
- Category: Graphic Novel Reviews
- CREDITS: by James Kochalka
- PUBLISHER: Alternative Comics; $14.95 US
Peanutbutter, a cat who wears a tie and fedora, likes to pretend she’s a businessman. She plays at working on files and needing her morning coffee, although she pounces on the paperwork when she’s not napping on it. She sets out to buy tape with a dollar she found under the bed, only to be rooked by Jeremy. The crow is greedy, selfish, mean, cranky, and violent. He encourages the confused cat to kill squirrels, but Peanutbutter just wants to go home and keep working.
Both of them have a fondness for hats. On casual day, Peanutbutter wears a baseball cap, while Jeremy keeps trying to steal her headwear. In another story, the cat trades a bowler to Jeremy for a favor, but the hat gets stuck on Peanutbutter’s head. When they go out in the snow for french fries, the cat wears mittens on her paws and a knit cap.
Later, Jeremy gives himself a concussion while trying to steal Peanutbutter’s newsboy cap. Other stories — there are nine in all — include Jeremy trying to write his memoirs (by diving at pieces of paper clutching a pencil) and Peanutbutter’s birthday party.
The stories have a fable-like structure but deal with elements of modern life. At times, the cat seems to be acting like a typical wage slave, then she’s completely cat-like. The contrast makes for giggles. Jeremy, on the other hand, is only out for himself, calling Peanutbutter names and stealing from her. Kochalka’s simple cat shape captures the grace and flexible motion of the animal, and the primitive art style makes for very easy reading.