Man­fried the Man

Foreword Reviews - - Spotlight Reviews -

Caitlin Ma­jor, Kelly Bas­tow (Il­lus­tra­tor) Quirk Books (MAY), Soft­cover $14.99 (224pp), 978-1-68369-015-3

In an en­ter­tain­ing and of­ten laugh-out­loud twist on re­al­ity, Caitlin Ma­jor and Kelly Bas­tow por­tray a world where cats live daily lives of work and re­spon­si­bil­ity—in­clud­ing taking care of their pet hu­mans—in Man­fried the Man.

Steve Cat­son, an an­thro­po­mor­phized cat, is a slacker who loves his pet man Man­fried. When Man­fried goes miss­ing, Steve at­tempts to find him, track­ing Man­fried through his some­times hazardous ex­plo­rations of the world out­side.

All of the pet hu­mans in Man­fried the Man are male, an in­ter­est­ing, un­ex­plained choice. While fea­tur­ing only one gender sim­pli­fies the be­hav­ior of the pet hu­mans and lim­its the book’s po­ten­tial to of­fend, it also draws a line in the sand re­gard­ing where Ma­jor will and won’t go with her plot. In its reg­u­lar in­car­na­tion as an on­line comic strip, Man­fried the Man goes for hu­mor and mostly keeps it sim­ple. This graphic novel cre­ates a story line but pre­serves the all-ages feel of the strip; though there is ex­ten­sive male nu­dity, it’s car­toony rather than erotic.

The hu­mor is abun­dant, though cat own­ers might ap­pre­ci­ate the pro­ceed­ings more than oth­ers: in­stead of “meow,” the men say “hey”; rustling a potato-chip bag sum­mons Man­fried from hid­ing; mid­dle-aged men groom them­selves with one leg ex­tended straight up in the air.

While there’s not nec­es­sar­ily a lot of deep char­ac­ter­i­za­tion in Man­fried the Man, it’s pleas­ant, light en­ter­tain­ment for all, and many peo­ple, espe­cially cat lovers, will ab­so­lutely adore it.

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