Interstellar Cinderella and Angel Catbird

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I have been unfortunate enough to catch a cold. Bah. It’s been a couple years since the last time I had a cold so I suppose I was due. So far it amounts to a really sore throat and a stuffed up head. Just enough to be miserable and feel sorry for myself but not enough to try and make others feel bad for me. That means it is a perfect night to write about graphic stories!

cover artI borrowed Interstellar Cinderella by Meg Hunt from the library because I thought it was a graphic novel/comic but it turned out to be a children’s picture book. Not having children of my own or friends with small children, it has been forever since I have read a children’s picture book. And now, if the need for a gift arises, this is the book I will give the parent/child because it is totally awesome!

Cinderella lives with her stepmother and step-sisters on a small planetoid and spends her time with her robot mouse, dreaming of fixing fancy rockets. She studies mechanics and fixes all the household appliances and eventually is told to repair the family spaceship so her step-sisters can go to the Prince’s Royal Space Parade. Cinderella, of course, does not get to go.

But her fairy godmother shows up and gives her a fancy spaceship and top-notch tools and away she flies. When the Prince’s ship breaks down in the middle of the parade, Cinderella is quickly on the scene to save the day. The Prince falls in love, Cinderella has to make her escape by midnight but leaves behind one of her tools. The Prince begins a search far and wide for the woman who can use the tool to fix something on his ship.

Fast forward, Cinderella appears and fixes the ship and the Prince asks her to marry him. Cinderella refuses! She counters with being the chief mechanic of the Prince’s rocket fleet and lives happily ever after fixing fancy rockets like she had always dreamed of doing.

It is a delightful book with rhymes, a lovely twist to the story, and wonderful art. Check it out sometime!

Then there is Angel Catbird a graphic novel by Margaret Atwood. It is so over-the-top silly that if it weren’t by Atwood it would be just plain dumb. But when you are a famous, well-established writer, you get the privilege of playing around. Atwood is clearly enjoying herself too. She has a funny introduction talking about her personal history with comics, both reading and writing them. She explains how Angel Catbird came into being and why her superhero is a cross between a human, a cat and an owl.

Angel is, like many superheroes, the result of science gone wrong — or right depending on your perspective. The book is filled with cat puns and a running commentary on the bottom of the page about how it is bad to allow your cats to go outdoors and how many birds are killed by housecats every year and why that is bad and go to a particular website for more information and take the pledge to keep your housecat in the house.

The art is wonderful and there is an amusing story in Atwood’s introduction that she and the artists had regarding Angel’s pants and what they should look like. This being a comic, there is an evil villain, explosions, a secret group of half cat – half humans, and a good many comic tropes you have come to know and love. And, like a good comic, it ends on a cliff-hanger so I will have to buy the next issue come February 2017.