And by fluffy, I don’t just mean light and airy. I actually mean soft and pettable and furry all over.
I’m reviewing two totally different story forms today: one is a novel, the other a new-to-me webcomic.
Off Leash by Daniel Potter is a fun little Indie book I picked up through a promotion recently, it’s on KU but worth plunking down the purchase price for it. I’m not quite sure how to categorize it in a sub-genre, because it’s Urban Fantasy but not really… The main character is a bit whiny at times, but he has a good heart, and I do so like stories where the protagonist grows up and makes difficult decisions. What makes this a fluffy tale is the nature of the conflict: Tom, the hero, is forcibly changed into a big cat. A very big kitty, in fact, a cougar. He promptly runs afoul of witches, a union, and a tiny but angry owl. His only ally is a squirrel, as long as Tom can resist the urge to make a snack of him.
It’s a light, pleasant romp. It’s not the most immersive writing, and at times I found the angst a bit irritating. But it carried me along in the story to the end, and when a sequel comes out, I will pick it up. The author left a lot of dangling loose ends, but managed to do so without making this book feel like a cliffhanger ending. The story arc was complete, it’s just that it feels like a bouncing ball about to go up again rather than a plot at rest. I can’t talk about some of the later revelations without adding spoilers, but I am curious to see how the author plans to resolve what feels a lot like a love triangle. I also want to know more about the werewolf puppies. Something makes me think they will be a handful.
The webcomic is Lackadaisy by Tracy Butler. It begins during prohibition, and revolves around the efforts of a pretty kitten to keep her late husband’s speakeasy open and a running operation, even though a gang of toughs is out to shut them down. The story is mostly carried by feckless, hapless, noodle-y Rocky the cat, who is a musician pretending to be a tough. Overall, this reminds me of one of my favorite movies, Bugsy Malone, in that it uses a too-cute-for-words cast to tell a very dark story. The art is what really carries this comic for me. Beautifully drawn and so much detail and depth I could get lost in some strips with no story needed…
I haven’t finished reading through the archives of Lackadaisy, but I haven’t been disappointed yet, and the art alone is worth the time to dive in and begin reading. And when I went looking, you can get it in book form, if you prefer your wonderful art on paper rather than screen. The cool thing that I slowly realized while reading through the strops is that this is a very historically accurate comic, if you ignore the furry characters and concentrate on the background slowly unrolling before you. Enjoy!