cover image Angel Catbird, Vol. 1

Angel Catbird, Vol. 1

Margaret Atwood and Johnnie Christmas. Dark Horse, $10.99 (112p) ISBN 978-1-50670-063-2

Atwood’s (The Handmaid’s Tale; Oryx and Crake) fiction is often complex and challenging to read, but in her first foray into the world of graphic novels, her wickedly funny sensibility as a poet shines through. The tale starts with the transformation of Strig Feeledus, who is struck by a car and finds himself bathed in a secret formula the driver (his boss) was carrying. Strig is now able to morph into a half-cat, half-bird humanoid hybrid, and he realizes that there are others like him. He and his comrades, including Cate Leone and Count Catula, must be on guard against the ratlike Muroid, who looks like he won’t be satisfied with anything less than world domination. Christmas is just the right illustrator for Atwood’s narrative, not just because of his talent for drawing all things avian, rodent, and feline, but because of his acute understanding of how the human form changes when combined with these creatures. His illustrations also do an excellent job of showcasing Atwood’s humor. (Sept.)