Review: Cat’s Cafe
Review: Cat’s Cafe
By Matt Tarpley
Andrews McMeel Publishing, May 2020
Cat’s Cafe is another webcomic that is getting a print edition. It started in December 2017, with strips being posted twice a week for the most part, and features a cat that opens a small cafe and serves coffee to the resident animals of the small town. It seems like a simple premise, but it’s the characters that set this series apart.
Cat’s Cafe is not just a place to go to get coffee; it is a place to go to find acceptance, friendship and support. Cat, the proprietor, is always there to give their customers the boost they need, whether it is coffee to get them going, an ear to listen, or a shoulder to cry on. Working in the cafe with them is Rabbit, who suffers from anxiety, but who can rely on Cat to help them through.
The customers are just as helpful as the staff. Penguin can be counted on to always drink ALL the coffee. With them is a little pink kiwi bird who loves to sleep in coffee cups. Snake just wants to make a friend. Alligator is an artist with a crush on Cat. Chipper is a chipmunk who is aggressively friendly, and Hyena has too many self-doubts to laugh. They all help and support one another with simple kindness, not letting anyone be alone, offering words of encouragement, or just letting them know it’s okay to cry—letting them know it’s okay to be them.
The one word used most to describe this series is wholesome, which is actually pretty accurate. The comic looks at different mental health issues and translates the often complex emotions into easily relatable ones. It’s positive and upbeat without feeling contrived or forced, like those motivational posters that were popular in the 90s. It makes you feel good because it’s a place where you are accepted, no matter who you are or how you feel.
Cat’s Cafe has turned out to be another title that is soothing to the soul. I wasn’t looking for another feel-good comic when I found it, but having read it, I’m glad I did. The stories are short and stand alone, going maybe 5-6 panels, but they convey their feelings with clarity and always end on a positive note. The art matches the tone. The characters are cute and simply drawn, but every one is as distinct as their personality. If you are ever in need of warm fuzzies, this is the book for you.
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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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