I am a cat person. I’ve been one since I got my first kittens at age 3, and I believe I passed into what is commonly considered “Crazy Cat Lady” territory last year when we brought a third cat into our two room apartment. I also have a Master’s degree in history. On the surface, it seems like I Was The Cat was written just for me, especially since our third cat is a ginger like the cat on the cover. But there is more to this story than just the light-hearted historical romp I was somehow expecting.
Meet Burma. Burma is the cat in the title, a unique talking cat (yep, talking—go with it) on his ninth and final life who is determined to share his life story with humanity. To do this, he enlists the help of Allison Breaking, an American blogger/journalist living in London, whom he hopes will write his memoir. She arrives with her roommate, Reggie, in tow, and together the two ladies listen in awe as Burma tells of his brushes with fame and glory. Along the way Reggie and Allison realize that although Burma is as cute as any cat, he is far from innocent.
Oni is releasing I Was The Cat one issue per week, but reviewers were given the entire six-issue run so I know where the story is going. Without spoiling anything, like I said, it’s not exactly light-hearted. It’s entertaining, at times a little disturbing, and took a turn for the serious that I didn’t expect at the beginning. I had some doubts in the middle of the storyline, but was ultimately happy with the way it was resolved. The full I Was The Cat arc was also thought-provoking on some pretty big issues, which was unexpected and awesome.
I have to point out some things that I loved about the artwork on this series: each of Burma’s lives (all set in different time periods) has a different and specific feel to it thanks to a different color palette. This made it very easy to keep track of all of them, and was a nice touch. I also enjoyed Burma’s “voiceover” captions, which were colored orange and included stylized ears and tails. It was a little touch, that showed a lot of thought went into all aspects of this book.
While there were some things that I felt could have been better (Reggie and Allison playing girl detectives “because it’s London” at one point left me a little flat, and I didn’t see the need for a shower/dressing scene in a later issue), overall I Was the Cat was an enjoyable read. I give it 4 out of 5 Lightning Bolts.
I WAS THE CAT
Writer: Tobin, Paul
Artist: Dewey, Benjamin
On Sale: single issues starting June 03, 2014; hardcover August 06, 2014.
Publisher: Oni Press
Diamond Id: APR14 1287
Price: $.99/issue; $24.99 for the hardcover