Suspended Animation: Think Outside the Cat Box


Monday, May 7th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


Think Outside the Cat Box by Mark Parisi/$12.95, 148 pgs., Plan Nine /sold
in book and comics shops, by mail and at www.plan9.org.

This comics anthology is for people who love cats, and people who hate cats. If that sounds illogical, you have never met a cat.

Think Outside the Cat Box is a comic strip anthology that offers an easy way to met cats at a distance, which is the best place for any frustrating
feline.

Frustrating?

For one reason, cats shed hair like Think... sheds light on cats. "Listen,"
complains a lady holding a puss before a puzzled salesman. "I'm sick of
vacuuming fur-could you just color-match a carpet to this?"

For another reason, picture a long- haired cat standing on a mountain above a mob of felines. In the crook of his arm is an engraved tablet that reads:
Thou Shalt Not Obey.
Got the idea? Good. Now, the art.

Of interest is that the art in Think..., while obviously sufficient, is not out-standing. Minimal attention is paid to correct anatomy,perspective or lighting. There is little attempt to ape reality.

This is common in widely popular comic strips that focus on idea over art.
It is no longer true in comic books where art overshadows every other aspect of storytelling and readers are leaving in droves.


Isn't it a purrrrfect shame that readers rarely get great idea and art? If
art does imitate life, maybe some clever editor will discover this secret
when he imitates cats and sleeps on it.


Think.... is recommended for all ages. MV


MINIVIEW: Zoot Scooter [Rip Roarin' Comics] Influenced by rough-edged
underground comics from the '60s, this homage to low-budget SF movies is an unpolished gem. A low-budget production in its own write, it's art (and
words) for the artists' sake, and as a labor of love will please some
readers and leave others out, of sorts. Its art is thick, distinctive and
occasionally clumsy. Its words are light, tight and occasionally whimsical.