After Bee and PuppyCat’s immediate runaway success, a comic series was inevitable – something the book’s promo even commented upon. Now over-excitable everygirl Bee and the pudgy grumpus PuppyCat return for a whole new series of magical temp work, and if you liked the original cartoon (and are as excited for the upcoming series!) as the rest of us, chances are you will dig the two – yes, two, for the price of one! – stories offered up here.
The first story, written and illustrated by Natasha Allegri herself, is adorable. It is so cute. Which is to be expected, yes, but still! There isn’t too much to talk about in terms of plot. This is only part one of the story, and like the original short it does feel like it’s about the equivalent of a five-minute cartoon. However, also like the short, the character writing is what makes Bee and PuppyCat stand out. Bee is charming, funny, in over her head at all times, and a kind soul. PuppyCat is king grumpus but downplays that he cares about Bee and wants to help her out.
Their friendship is at its beginnings but it feels almost lifelong. Allegri and Jackson’s dialogue is just great: you can hear Allyn Rachel’s Bee screaming at the top of her lungs to be let in the house, as well as PuppyCat’s cranky Vocaloid bleeps. Allegri and Seery’s artwork are mostly good, with the coloring in Bee’s dream particularly good. But the second half’s coloring, almost selectively with Bee, is subtly off. She’s too pink and fleshy-colored all over, even in Fishbowl Space, and wearing that pink nightshirt doesn’t help, even though it is funny. The one other immediate drawback is that Bee’s dream sequence, like the cartoon’s, goes on for too long. But this dream also has fatter, rounder, Sailor Scout-colored PuppyCats, so hey, I’m not really complaining.
The backup story, “What Happened,” doesn’t involve Allegri in writing or illustration. “What Happened” is entirely by Madéleine Flores, and she picks up on a plot thread fans have been speculating about since the end of the original short: What happened to Wallace? Is he dead? What was the deal with that two-mouth monster and how did it get inside him? Or if he was just that monster all along, does he even have a mom? Yes, he does, and she is distressed because her son is missing/possibly dead. Like the issue’s main story there isn’t much plot to comment on yet, aside from the upcoming debacle with Wallace’s mom. Flores’s dialogue for Bee is good, and PuppyCat’s antagonism with that grouchy lobster is pretty funny. The shift to Flores’s art style is cute, but jarring after 17 pages of Allegri’s. But on the whole, it’s a cute backup for a story I’m interested in.
What else is there to say? The art is adorable, the characters are funny and charming, and both stories’ set up appear to be pretty darn good. All in all, Bee and PuppyCat #1 is a sweet, engaging first issue and one highly recommended for readers of all ages.