Dog Man sidekick Li’l Petey and tadpole Molly are running a weeklong comics workshop for 21 quarrelsome froggies while the frogs’ father, bionic fish Flippy, tries to enforce decorum. (Flippy admonishes the kids, “There is NOTHING funny about POO-POO!!!”—to which they reply only with laughter.) As the froggies wrestle and eventually conquer their stymied or fearful imaginations, readers are treated to the wonderful variety of their work through brief mini-comics, from pencil drawings reminiscent of the Captain Underpants series to photocomics made with broken, hybridized action figures, all with classic Pilkey titles such as Supa Fail and The Cute, Little, Fluffy Cloud of Death. Amid this riotous creativity (awards are given for the craziest, grossest and “Most Violentest” comic), there’s a lesson for Flippy, too: “be more chill,” and don’t play thought police. As wise Nurse Lady reminds him, “Look at Shakespeare: It’s all death and violence and fart jokes!” Irreverent, laugh-out-loud funny and—gosh darn it—downright moving, it’s a heartfelt celebration of coming into one’s own as an artist, with all its frustrations and joys. Ages 7–up. (Dec.)
From the Publisher
Praise for Cat Kid Comic Club:
*"Irreverent, laugh-out-loud funny and... downright moving, it's a heartfelt celebration of coming into one's own as an artist, with all its frustrations and joys." Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Pilkey effectively mixes instruction and empowerment into the chaos, the frenetic panels... making both immensely enjoyable. Supa fun." Kirkus Reviews
Crime takes a back seat to craft in Cat Kid’s series debut.
Cat Kid, aka Li’l Petey, steps out of his Dog Man sidekick role as president of the titular comic club, with psychokinetic tadpole Molly as vice-president, her 21 baby-frog siblings as members, and their dad, Flippy the fish, as anxious arbiter of literary excellence. Readers new to the Pilkeyverse will be won over by its genial looniness as Li’l Petey works valiantly to teach his club members how to make comics. When Melvin’s first effort, Dennis the Toothbrush Who Wanted To Be a Dinosaur Lawyer, is judged “dumb” (it is a tad thin on plot), Li’l Petey and Molly encourage all the froglets to get over their fears by failing utterly: “Worst comic gets a prize!” yells Molly. Flippy wrings his bionic claws at the results, pronouncing them “violent,” “disgusting,” and “offensive”; The Cute, Little Fluffy Cloud of Death has Flippy calling in the medical authorities. Fortunately, Nurse Lady talks some sense into him (“Look at Shakespeare: It’s all DEATH and VIOLENCE and FART JOKES!...Take a chill pill, dude”), and the club continues, producing a legal drama, a startlingly beautiful sequence of nature photos and haiku, and sneak peeks at a buddy story, a biography, an apocalyptic thriller, and a superhero adventure. Few are “wholesome,” but all are believably childlike. Pilkey effectively mixes instruction and empowerment into the chaos, the frenetic panels (with Garibaldi contributing colors) making both immensely enjoyable.
Supa fun. (Graphic fiction. 8-12)