Sunday, August 05, 2018

Reader's Diary #1884- Caitlin Major (writer), Kelly Bastow (artist): Manfried the Man

I'm sure most of us have encountered a book that didn't live up to our expectations based on a solid or at least interesting premise.

Caitlin Major's Manfried the Man definitely intrigued me with its amusing premise: cats run society and have men as pets. And, I am happy to report, did not disappoint!

The premise remains interesting throughout with new details about the "rules" of this world slowly revealed as the context dictates. Instead of meowing, the pet men say "hey!" And when I say that the cats have men as pets, it would appear that this is meant literally. I didn't see anyone with a woman as a pet.

But it's not all premise. The characters and plot are quite good as well. Manfried's owner is a cat named Steve Catson. He's... not a happy cat. He hates his job and has quite low self esteem. As series of unfortunate mistakes, the worst of which is losing Manfried, threatens to destroy him.

There's real emotional heft to the tale, as you might gather, but the humour of the premise, Kelly Bastow's bright, simple art, and a hopeful ending that revolves around friendship, keeps everything ultimately sweet.

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