Ananth Hirsh and Yuko Ota have created a cottage industry of cute, with the publication of Lucky Penny in spring 2016, a variety of online projects at their site www.johnnywander.com, and now a thick collection of their autobiographical comics, Our Cats Are More Famous Than Us.
Relating tales of post-college life, including friends, family, cats, landlords, and strange everyday experiences, these comics—most one page apiece—contain a plethora of humorous, relatable, and yes, cute observations. Were this a YouTube channel, there might be many, mostly failed contenders for such entertaining self-exposure; but in illustrated form, what stands out as unique, aside from a well-developed sense of humor, is that Hirsh and Ota also boast undeniable talent. Pacing, facial expressions, and general creativity are all noteworthy, and the end result is a collection that gains momentum slowly, but never falters.
An example of the book’s success is the occasionally appearing “hourly comics” format, in which a number of small panels detail the passage of time in a single day, via hourly checkpoints. It’s a technique which, in the wrong hands, could quickly become tiresome—but Hirsh and Ota manage to keep it fun, while using the template to showcase the often-random joys and frustrations of daily life.
The volume ends with a satisfying conclusion and the hint of a new chapter about to begin in the lives of two gifted graphic storytellers.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.