You don’t mess with cats. Period.
Story: Rob Reger & Mariah Huehner
Art: Cat Farris
What They Say:
Though they’ve offered Emily and the Strangers a seemingly awesome record deal, it’s beginning to look like Awesomely Awesome Records isn’t all they appear to be. Initial investigation shows they might have something to do with the stray cat situation in Emily’s hometown! The gang decides they have to investigate before they sign anything!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With this series being my first experience with the property, I definitely had fun with the first installment even if it was all kind of basic and predictable. While I very much love my deep, complex and involved stories and concepts, there’s a lot to like about something that works like this where it’s a bit easier, fun, smile inducing and full of the kind of basic quirky humor that makes it charming in a kind of nostalgic sense. I had my kids read the first issue and it certainly felt fresh to them and that’s more than half the job right there as they’re the main market for this rather than me. But while I consume my dark, grim and gritty books, I enjoy taking a spin through the lighter side as well.
Not that it’s all sunshine and rainbows for Emily and her group here. While they got the record contract deal, they got the Kraken guitar and they’ve seen the power of Awesomely Awesome Records, things have not sat well for them. The background event with all the cats that had been popping up around the city has pushed its way into the forefront here as the Redhead Girl with no name has started to fill them in on what’s going on. While Emily can understand cats, or at least claims to, Redhead Girl is able to provide the details of how Awesomely Awesome Records has set up a lot of shelters for cats around and are using the beautiful and perfect ones for some nefarious plan that they have in the works. Redhead Girl is a lover of cats, a child that loved science, and has spent her life looking for ways to make cats lives happier. So when she learned of this, she set things in motion to free the cats, but knows they need something more.
Hence trying to get Emily to help out. Which, as her trusty male bandmate points out, is a kind of odd thing to do since they’re just kids. But we know Emily is something more and the gang pretty much rallies to the cause, especially after Redhead Girl’s story and even more so after Emily shows them what the cats had told her, which is comically cute and awful at the same time. That the band rallies around Emily – and more importantly the cats – isn’t a surprise. This gets reinforced nicely when we see the kind of hold that the record company has over the band as well when they decide not to pursue the contract and realize how many hidden clauses were in their winning moment. While they were close to conquering the world, realizing it was going to be done in such a terrible way has them wanting to make things right. Right in the way that only Emily can. It’s a good rah rah sequence that builds up, especially after all that we got about the record company, but it’ll be interesting to see what kind of trick and slight of hand is used to wrap it all up in the next issue.
The middle act of the miniseries is one full of explanations and information and while a little bit of it comes across as an info dump, most of it is the band reacting to the situation. Emily naturally has everything in hand, even when she’s frustrated with what she’s forced to deal with, so a lot of things are just done by her force of will and personality. Which works well since she is pretty much the leader, on the right track and most of the band are admittedly followers of different kinds. The end result is that we know just how bad the contract deal is now, which is far worse than before, and that the gang will have to expose this ugliness quickly and totally in order to save the day. And lots of cats. Because, damnit, the cats must be saved!
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: July 30th, 2014