There are strong aspects of Finding Molly that I liked and other aspects that while suitable for the story, weakened it overall. The general idea of the series is that Molly is out of art school and like most recent graduates, she’s having a hard time find a job involving her art. After sketching her cat, she gets a message from a stranger on the internet that wants her to illustrate her cat. This sets her down the path of cat sitter and cat cartoonist. What works for the story is the pacing and the way writer Justine Prado manages to include all of Molly’s backstory in the first issue. We learn about art school, her friends and even the guy that she has a crush on. There’s also her struggles with finding work that she feels is worth of her talents and coming to some kind of understanding between her parents and herself.
Even though Molly suffers from some “Peter Parker Syndrome” there’s a lot that conveniently falls on her lap. Starting with the stranger contacting her for the illustration, to getting multiple cat sitting jobs. Sure it’s not changing her life dramatically, but these are little steps. There’s really only the drama that she creates which is fine, but it feels superficial at the moment.
The dialogue is well-written and aside from playing along with the aspects of the plot that are not the best, it comes across as natural to the story.
Jenn St-Onge’s artwork is star of the comic. I wanted to check this book out because of her artwork. It has a clean look, with great colors from Carey Pietsch. It really has an animated look to it. It reminded me a little of Lissa Treiman’s work on Giant Days, but I would say that the backgrounds are fuller. Speaking of which, as detailed and well colored as this first issue is, it’s the backgrounds that make the world feel real and breathing. Without that, I don’t know if I would enjoy this book as much.
There’s a lot of good in this issue, if you like the subject matter that is. If you care not for cats, then this won’t win you over as all the cats in the book are jerks. It’s not perfect, but there’s definitely the potential for it to dig deeper into its world and not rely on convenient writing to push the plot forward. There’s plenty to work with after this first issue though and so that’s a very bright spot. And the artwork is really, really good.
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Finding Molly: An Adventure in Catsitting #1 Writer: Justin Prado Artist: Jenn St-Onge Colorist: Carey Pietsch Publisher: Emet Comics Price: $4.99 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital