TAG-TEAM REVIEW: Josie and the Pussycats #1

View From Across the Pond – Johnny “The Machine” Hughes

If it is true, that we all want to pass as cats and want to be big big stars, then this new series from Archie Comics featuring Josie and the Pussycats certainly goes someway to provide proof to the adage.

Josie, at least in this iteration, is a coffee house singer, playing her songs to an ever decreasing crowd.  Still never one to let the fickle crowd destroy her dreams, she is soon cajoling her friend Melody into helping her perform for a charity gig and with the help from Valerie the singing vet, they are soon up to their hot-pants in frought-ful friendship fights behind the backdrop of possibly being the best band you have ever heard…….in a comic book!

Writers Marguerite Bennett and Cameron DeOrdio have created a book that refracts rather than reflects the original style of the team.  Talking about Bennett first of all; is there no genre that this woman will not try?  So far, we have had alternative super-heroines in DC Bombshells and Marvels A-Force, with AfterShock’s Victorian adult themed erotic horror InSEXts being the highlights of just some of her independent work.  Here, with the help of DeOrdio, the style of writing is aimed squarely at teen girls plus with an easy going script, dialogue that is on trend in today’s social highway aware world, with a trio of characters that work really well together.  Even the “squee-ing at nearly everything” Melody doesn’t annoy me, mainly as she has more than passing resemblance to a number of girls I know.  Valerie the singing vet, may seem contrived, but to be honest, the fun element that pretty much fills this book allows you let it slide.

Audrey Mok, provides the art for the book.  First of all, I don’t think I have seen anything by Mok before, so I am pleased to have some new work to look at.  The art is clean, fresh and fun, covering a range of influences from Manga style eyes to Alan Davis smiles.  The angles used throughout work well in  helping the story move along as well as passing along the nefarious subterfuge that is indulged in places. Mok provides her own inks, which helps give the reader a level of confidence that we see what Mok wanted us to see, without the lens of someone else’s inks.  Colors are provided Andre Szymanowicz with a surprising nuanced color scheme which adds a level of brightness to proceedings without becoming saccharine sweet.

Reading this book, I can see that this is the type of book that DC must have wanted for Batgirl, which they are just about getting right now, in Rebirth.  Josie is a guilty pleasure slice of a comic book, which harkens back to fun rather than a sort of in house continuity seriousness.  That said, fans of Josie are said to well served with a number of up an coming  nods and Easter eggs, so keep your eyes peeled.  Finally, for those who have no idea who Josie and the Pussy cats are, check below.

Writing – 4.5 Stars

Art – 4 Stars

Colors – 4 Stars

 

 

The Fourth Pussycat – KittiePop

We all want to be rock stars, right? No, not the Nickelback kind, just don’t…don’t go there. Anyhoo, I’ve always been a fan of Josie and the Pussycats, coming from a musical family and being literally named Kittie, it would just be awkward not to be into these rock n roll girls, am I right?

Of course, our first introduction to Josie is here singing her heart out, but not on the scale she desires. A near-empty bar isn’t exactly the kind of thing you think of when you hear the words “rock star”, but everyone gets their start somewhere. Yay positivity! When the chance to play a charity drive for an animal shelter comes up, Josie gets her classic ditsy-yet-total-sweetheart of a friend Melody to join her. Pair the two off with a singing veterinarian named Valerie, and we’ve got ourselves a band.

So let me just say this: I enjoyed this book way more than I thought I would. It does make sense though, having being written by Marguerite Bennett and Cameron Deordio. The sharp and witty wording throughout the story respects the roots of the Pussycats, but adds a lot of fresh elements, and Audrey Mok’s artwork is a taco supreme. Andre Szymanowicz’s bright and in-your-face coloring is to die for, and really brings out Audrey’s talent.

This is a book that seems to be aimed at teens to start with, but it’s really a story that could cater to a lot of different audiences. The only thing I don’t like is how quick Josie’s bandmates are to believe some gossip told to them by a known “mean girl”.Especially Melody, because she and Josie are roommates and being so obviously close, you would think that Melody wouldn’t jump at her friend after some dumb remarks. That derailed the closeness of the friends a bit, but it soon got back on track.

I was trying to look for things wrong with this book, but there aren’t really any. I mean it, it’s really good. The way the female characters are drawn and executed are great, and the diversity in the Pussycats is something to be proud of.

Artwork: 5 Stars

Colors: 5 Stars

Story: 4 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Script: Marguerite Bennett and Cameron DeOrdio
Art: Audrey Mok, Andre Szymanowicz, Jack Morelli

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