This is my first ever double issue review! Normally I’d pick one and run with it, while including a shorter review of the other issue in my weekly Lightning Review, but there is a method to my madness. You see, I really wanted to read the first issue but never received it from the publisher, but when Chapter House sent the second issue over, they included the first for my benefit. I loved them both, but if I’m perfectly honest, the second would have been much harder to appreciate without the first to set up the premise of the title. Since I can’t properly review the second without relying heavily on the first issue, I’ve decided to lump them together into this Two-in-One Review!
Each issue begins with a short “throwback” comic from the silver age about a witch named Kitty whose curviness and sexuality often outshine the fact that she is a witch. The twist is that these comics within a comic are based on the real life Kitty (in the story, that is) who does not age and whose comic line is currently in serious financial trouble. The glory days long gone, the company has tried to salvage what they can with gimmicks and crossovers with their other titles like Lil Satan and Dippy the Dead Kid, but nothing seems to boost sales enough. At the end of their rope they decide to kill her off, not only in the comics but also in real life! What commences is a rat race between former comic stars to kill Kitty in return for the rebirth of their own title. First up is Dippy who tries his best with the help of his ghost buddies The Deadly Trio, but Kitty has some tricks (and allies) of her own! By the end of issue #2, the Kitty Comics staff is convinced the witch is dead and they can debut their reboot version, Katty!
In short, I really loved these comics. Fernando Ruiz and Dan Parent just blew me away with their Archiesque artwork and collage of comic concepts that worked together seamlessly. At first, the reader would believe that these older comic stories leading off each issue were of that style because that was popular in the 50’s and 60’s, but then we jump from the page to the modern era and the aesthetics are a constant! The only real difference is the vintage, four-color vibe we get from the older segments.
Kitty’s sex appeal is a frequently used device in the story, and while it is overused and unnecessary most of the time, it did make this more enjoyable for me to read. Sue me, I’m a guy. I did appreciate how blatant the creative team makes the sexism throughout the two books, even having a female character ask “Isn’t that disrespectful?” and makes it known that she is offended by the language used to describe Kitty’s titties (sorry about that rhyme, but come on, it was right there…) At one point, she is completely naked, but there is no nudity in the comic due to well placed smoke and long boxes. They did show as much as they could get away with though. Innuendo and assumption is what sells the sexiness of this comic, rather than making it pornographic in any way. Also, despite some crude jokes, there are practically no curse words in these comics (except, you know, the witch kind).
Another great aspect of this series is just how in touch with its identity in the comics realm this falls. It obviously rips on classic characters like Sabrina, Casper, and Richie Rich, and makes digs at DC’s New 52 comics from a couple of years back. They point out that deaths, marriages, and crossovers are devices by publishers to increase sales, and even make a joke about how comic creators are in the level of hell below lawyers. Ouch. This industry sees some great self-deprecating humor in this comic, which is breath of fresh air. Kitty even works in a comic shop, where her presence can be a distraction to some lustful patrons.
To sum it all up, this is just an extremely fun read. It’s meta, it’s got a classic feel with a modern twist, and it brings up all sorts of nostalgia. Plus, it has plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor that is borderline raunchy. It’s definitely going on my monthly pick list. I wish I could give these two comics a collective 5 stars, but the second issue dropped slightly for me in quality and lost much of the “comic community” content that I loved about issue #1. That is in no way saying you should stop after one issue, because both were incredibly entertaining and deserving of praise. Plus, Kitty does a classic BAMF! which is always good for brownie points from me.
Phenomenal Fun, 4.5 out of 5 Stars!
(W) Fernando Ruiz, Dan Parent (A) Dan Parent (A/CA) Fernando Ruiz