cover image I Am Pusheen the Cat

I Am Pusheen the Cat

Claire Belton. S&S/Touchstone, $14.99 (192p) ISBN 978-1-4767-4701-9

After creating and maintaining a hugely popular online following for her loveable cat character Pusheen, Belton’s first book is a selection of comics from the Web series, plus some new content. The book is organized in an episodic, gag-style format, without a narrative but with occasional longer segments such as “A Year in the Life of Pusheen.” The artistic style is heavily borrowed from Japanese cartoons, most notably Hello Kitty. Due to the derivative style and lack of its own voice, the book has trouble finding its footing, both visually and tonally. Most of the jokes are fairly tired, such as a sequence depicting a New Year’s resolution failing to pan out or the endless Garfield-esque references to food consumption. The best gags employ antihumor, such as when Pusheen demonstrates fanciness by sporting a monocle and moustache and riding a unicorn. Still, it’s hard to overestimate the appeal of adorable cats on the Internet, where even the most familiar material will find an audience ready to soak in the cute. (Oct.)