Book Review – Cat Person by Seo Kim


Cat Person is a mostly charming collection of comics by Toronto artist Seo Kim. Full of cute, predominantly autobiographical strips about Kim, her cat Jimmy, her life, and her boyfriend Eddie, the book works either as individual strips, chapters (Jimmy the cat mostly appears in the first chapter titled Jimmy and Me) or an ongoing story with the appearance of of Eddie and his own cat Bubble in a later chapter.

Kim’s work, done in pencil and coloured in Photoshop is engaging although sometimes rough in terms of technique.

The cat chapter runs the gamut of life with a cat, from the feline obsession with running tap water to the way cat hair ends up on everything you own. Kim also references the various ways to hug a cat, head bonks, cat shapes (when they sleep all curled up) and fuzzy cat testicles. Fortunately, she switches gears right around the point when even the most ardent cat fan would start to get a little bored.

Additional chapters touch on subjects that include clubs full of bearded and bespectacled hipsters, an obsession with Oreo cookies and things from Kim’s life such as not getting enough sleep, being stuck on the subway, or her relationship with her boyfriend Eddie.

I would like to have seen Cat Person edited with a more discerning eye. Many of the strips are repetitive and deal with subject matter such as not knowing what to draw a comic about. Kim also draws herself or someone else on the toilet four separate times throughout the book (plus two of the cat) as well as a whole six-panel strip set on the can. This is neither cute nor gratuitous, it’s just mostly confusing – why is this here, what is it supposed to add to the overall work?

Cat Person would have worked better as a smaller publication with just the strips about Kim and Jimmy the cat fleshed out a bit more and with more detail to the artwork. While her artistic style is fun and cute, and there are some strips where the reader will likely relate, the autobiographical chapters are not strong enough to stand on their own.

This piece was originally published on Vermicious.