Review: ‘Take It Away, Tommy!: A Breaking Cat News Adventure’
Review: Take It Away, Tommy!: A Breaking Cat News Adventure
By Georgia Dunn
Andrew McMeel Publishing; ISBN: 9781524858186
Breaking Cat News is a webcomic that has been running on the GoComics website since 2014. It follows three cats, Elvis, Lupin and Puck, intrepid reporters broadcasting from their downstairs apartment of a Victorian home that was converted into apartments. Sharing their home are The Man, The Woman, The Toddler, and The Baby, as well other cats inside and outside their home, all reporting on “the news important to cats.”
Our three news reporters, Elvis, Lupin, and Puck, are joined by field correspondent Tommy as they report on the pressing news of the day: bacon on the breakfast table, a new cat in the backyard, fuzzy blanket season, as well as some seasonal hijinks at Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
It should come as no surprise I loved this book. But it’s not just because I love cats. This book is genuinely funny. The three main cats, Elvis, Lupin, and Puck are so full of personality. Elvis is very protective and like all Siamese has a high opinion of himself. Lupin is the main anchor and the upbeat, outgoing member of the team. Puck is the shy, quiet one who really just wants everyone to get along. All three of them are so endearing, whether it’s Puck seeing ghosts, Elvis indignant about a cat outside, or Lupin getting paint all over himself and the rest of the apartment. I had several laugh-out-loud moments just watching these three.
Adding to the cast is Tommy, a big fluffy cat who lives in the apartment next door and likes to go outside, and his roommate, Sophia, who doesn’t care for him too much. He constantly tries to be her friend, while she firmly rebuffs him, which he accepts quite cheerfully. Tabitha and Figaro are cats that live upstairs and don’t appear much in this volume, but Tabitha apparently has a rivalry with Elvis. Burt, the newest addition, is a barn cat that isn’t as interested in reporting as working behind the scenes in AV, linking the cats’ broadcasts for live feeds as well as pre-recorded segments.
While several of the stories are short, lasting one to two pages, there are a few longer ones. For Halloween, a ghost cat appears that only Lupin can see, and the humans discover the bittersweet story of the original owner of the house, Winifred Quinn, and the fate of her cat Matilda. There is also an extended story for Christmas, involving robber mice and Puck’s friend Buzzy Mouse. This one had a lot of humor but ends on a touching note.
I can’t recommend this book or series enough. The news stories the cats report are funny, especially if you have or have known a cat. Out of litter and kibble? No toilet paper for the People! Vacuum Cleaner Preparedness? Every cat should be aware! There is also a TV soap opera the cats (and mice) watch, Our IX Lives, which is everything you would think it is. The book also includes some activities, such as paper dolls that can be printed out, and painting rocks to look like the cats. There are three books in this series so far, and every one of them belongs in a middle school library or graphic novel collection. It’s also a great book for a “feel good” list of comics.
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About Lori Henderson
Lori Henderson is a mother of two teenage daughters and an avid reader. She blogs about manga at her personal blog Manga Xanadu as well as contributing and editing for Manga Village. She blogs about all things fandom (mainly Doctor Who) at her other personal blog Fangirl Xanadu. She's been at it so for over 5 years now and counting!
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