Josie and the Pussycats
Publisher: Archie Comics Publications
Writer: Marguerite Bennett & Cameron Deordio
Artist: Audrey Mok
Colors: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters: Jack Morelli
Review by PeteR
Josie and the Pussycats relates the adventures of a three person girl band as they strive for fame and self-awareness. The band leader is Josie, who is portrayed as being unintentionally self-centered but well meaning. Valerie is the realist of the bunch and the most emotionally self-aware. Finally there is Melody, the ditsy and funny drummer. Actually all three characters are funny but Melody with her perpetual attention deficits and unintentional skewing of reality is the comedy lynch-pin of the series.
The Pussycats, in their travels confront jewel thieves, international animal smugglers and crazed billionaires. Their biggest challenges are raising their emotional I.Q.’s and overcoming various childhood missteps that come back to haunt them.
Marguerite Bennett (Earth Two, DC Bombshells and Batwoman) and Cameron Deordio do a credible job of balancing the humor and adventure. The stories occasionally feel like an Afternoon Special episode as the characters explore their feelings and relationships, but inevitably someone cracks a joke and lightens the mood before they can veer into sappiness. I keep expecting Melody to say “And that’s one to grow on.”
The art is done by Audrey Mok who has also contributed art to various covers for Archie Comics and a backup story in Shade the Changing Girl #8. Her artwork is on the manga side of the illustration spectrum but it perfectly fits the stories.
The first three issues, in addition to the new tales, also have reprints of older Josie and the Pussycat stories and brief histories of the creator Dan Decarlo and the series. Unfortunately those were dropped as of issue #4 in favor of pictorial features about the television show Riverdale. Once Riverdale gets settled on the CW, I hope the comics return to reprinting the older stories as backup features.
Why you should buy this book? It’s funny, cute and heartwarming. The characters are constantly making pop culture references, some more obscure than others. There are a lot of amusing puns and the occasional breaking of the fourth wall, two things I have always enjoyed. I would not recommend the book for younger children because they might not get understand the jokes. Teens ages 13 and up would enjoy the series as should adults. This is not a comic for “just girls”. Good comics are enjoyable by all genders.
Sometimes, after long days of work, political upheavals and ever increasing bills, superheroes comics aren’t the entertainment you might be looking for. The humor and affection in Josie and the Pussycats might be the balm you are looking for.