Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Michael Stock
Artists: Sina Grace, Tamra Bonvillain
Released: 3rd December, 2014
It’s always a fascinating endeavour to take a concept created by a kid, and go through the process of expanding it into a full-fledged piece of entertainment. On the one hand, the stories hardly what one might refer to as complex; but on the other, through simplicity, they can become beautiful tales with a unique perspective on their respective subject matter.
Concocted by writer Michael Stack’s daughter Nico when she was eight years old, it tells the story of the titular Penny, her cat Iggy, and… well, her wishing box, which gets mysteriously delivered to her doorstep just in time for Christmas.
It’s an intriguing enough concept – the almost archetypal ‘you’ve got some wishes, but there might be consequences’ construct, and the fact that it’s filtered through what at this stage is a distinctly less cynical lens it’s actually pretty refreshing in the current climate of storytelling.
It’s a shame that the art from Sina Grace isn’t quite up to his usual standard – it feels a little rough around the edges, with some strangely distended figures, and a few panels that have an out-of-place lack of detail in both characters and scenery.
But this is made up for by solid writing from Stock – it rides a tricky line between very mild scary stuff, more serious familial tension, and joyous silliness, with a beautifully fairytale-like edge to the dialogue and pacing. Then there’s also the ingeniously simple sound-effect lettering – frequently silly, but always full processable, and lettered in a wonderful, shape-shifting way by Hope Larson. Last but certainly not least, there’s the personification of Iggy the ham-loving cat, which is bound to bring a smile to faces both young and old.
The whole thing strike as a perfect comic to share with your kids at Christmas. The only shame is that the story won’t be complete come the day itself. Certainly worth a look.
The Writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24