Written by Chris Cooper, Max Davidon, Alex Matthews | Art by Egle Bartolini, Maria Sanapo, Dave Alvarez | Published by Titan Comics
Well this looked a little different from my normal comics reading diet. Not a grown man in spandex to be seen for sure, although a cat in boots probably trumps that anyway. Puss in Boots is, of course, the fairy tale character brought to life by DreamWorks in their Shrek films, and something of a fan favourite too. This collection collects together the four issues that were individually published a few months back, each issue featuring two stories so here we get eight tales for our money. Are they ‘Amazing’ tales as promised? Let’s find out.
As you would imagine, although the creative teams change from story to story, the tone is kept very light but consistent, perfect for the younger fans of the Shrek films. The story lengths also vary, but the themes are kept very broad, they contain a lot of visual slapstick, and have some very funny dialogue. Puss in Boots is usually thrown into a situation, uses charm and subterfuge to solve it, often by pure luck, and everything is reset for the next adventure. Typical all-ages storytelling, give an illusion of change but by stories end things are back to the status quo again.
Being honest, I enjoyed these only up to a point. Firstly, I know that I am not the primary audience for them, so some of their appeal is lost on me. I actually had my seven year old daughter look through a couple of stories, and she liked them more than me. I found a hundred odd pages of this type of very light storytelling a bit too much, a bit too generic. When read individually I am sure they felt more fresh, and just about the right size to digest, but I started to struggle half way through this collection. I’m not sure if that’s why I enjoyed the first stories more, but I found my favourites to be the first three in the collection
‘The Owl and the Puss in Boots’ is actually pretty funny, with Puss thrown out of San Lorenzo and hooking up with a grumpy Owl to form a sort of odd couple team up. Some nice dialogue and visual gags. ‘Costume Craze’ is very short but amusing, as Puss decides to try out new looks. ‘Damage Control’ is probably the best story in the collection, with a nice little moral lesson of sorts in there. Puss’s battle with El Moco sees San Lorenzo destroyed, and he learns a little humility and consideration along the way. Nice values for a nice story. My least favourite story was probably ‘The Pickled Piper of San Lorenzo’, a filler type tale with nothing to say beyond using the old magic beans macguffin.
The artwork throughout is pretty much what you’d probably expect from this type of book. Very simple and cartoony, visually appealing to younger eyes and essentially a cartoon on paper. Perfect for the stories in here, but probably a little simple for the average older reader, unless you have a love of this type of art. For all ages books I tend to prefer the Carl Barks type art, a little more defined and less scratchy looking (although scratchy suits a book about a cat I guess).
For its target audience, this is probably a very entertaining collection. Plenty going on, plenty of amusing characters and situations, and at over one hundred pages a lot of entertainment for your money. For me, it raised a chuckle here and there but seemed to get a little too repetitive after four stories or so. Probably best read one or two stories at a time.
You may be on the fence, but the under-10′s will love it.
The Adventures of Puss in Boots: Amazing Tails is out now from Titan Comics.