It’s getting a little difficult to say something fresh about Bee and Puppycat. Issue by issue, the comic has its riotous standouts, adorable quiet moments, and flat-out duds, and though its strength continues to be its collection of vignettes about the titular characters, I get increasingly interested in seeing a more extended comic story (I know there’s a show, but it seems to care just as little about plot and character development as the comic). Regardless of that minor quibble, Bee and Puppycat was once again was mostly a joy to read. Andrew Lorenzi kicks off the stories this issue in “Book Quest” where a lost library book may potentially lead to the end of Bee’s manga binging and Puppycat’s CD listening (oh Puppycat! Don’t you know there’s books). The pair end up ransacking the house before taking off into space to search the locations off their most recent outerworld temp gigs. Lorenzi does a great job in this story of giving the characters blocking that’s funny almost panel by panel, conveying the ease and frustration that each has with the other.
Of course whenever there’s a comic about food, I immediately perk up and Joy and Ashley Ang’s “Food” did not disappoint. With the simple premise that Bee and Puppycat are paid in a magical item that becomes any food the person touching it can imagine, the comic takes its time getting to a well-deserved punch line. Prior to that though, we’re privy to Bee’s food fantasy, which of course end up being just a smorgasbord of sugary treats that’d give even Willy Wonka a toothache. Course once Puppycat’s meal shows up, we’re treated to a fabulously drawn image from Ang that simultaneously looks ethereal, sophisticated and strange. Course once we find out its ingredients, I was left laughing as the gluttonous Bee deals with the revelation.
“Served” though turns out to be the one that surprised me in its emotional impact. A story told without dialogue from Meredith Mcclaren, it starts with Bee’s reflection on the generosity of her roommate who has been feeding her all week. The typically lethargic Bee suddenly suffers a moment of panic, and drags Puppycat off to the grocery story in the hopes of cooking up something for him. While it turns out disastrous in typical Bee fashion, it ended with a note that had me cooing in the most annoying manner possible.
The issue’s final four stories are serviceable enough, focused on mild gross out humor with two and office miscommunication in the other. With punchlines predictable from panel one, it was hard to react with anything more than a slight smile as I read each one. This will probably be the last I review this comic for a while, but I’ll be sure to continue picking this issue up for when things get to heavy over in my other life as a grad student.
Writer: Various Artist: Various Publisher: BOOM!/KaBoom! Price: $3.99 Release Date: 11/26/14 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital