A Review By Greg Driver Twitter: @Battou
It's going to come as an enormous shock to you that I love cats (it's not. It's a well documented fact). Enter "Urban Tails" the subject of a recent Kickstarter campaign by Soaring Penguin Press.
"Urban Tails" is a collection of autobiographical, slice of life-y comic strips by Ilana Zeffren, an Israeli comic artist who lives in Tel Aviv.
Urban Tails was known as Rishumon when it was originally published in Israel. The comic began life as a weekly strip in a newspaper called Ha'ir, as part of the entertainment supplement Akhbar Ha'ir (City Mouse). This will be the first time these comic strips will be collected and translated into English.
These are heartwarming comics about life in Tel Aviv for Mom 1 (Ilana), Mom 2 (her girlfriend) and their two cats Spaghetti and Rafi. Part of this comic's genius is in the commentary provided by the charmingly nonchalant felines!
There's beauty in the small everyday dramas, and in the way the book presents and deals with larger more complex subjects like feminism, gender studies and mental health. These comics also provide a candid look at life in Tel Aviv as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. These comics provide a gentle place to relax with a lovely little family.
The art is gorgeously delicate caricatures with great attention to detail in expressions and emotions, especially with the cats. I love the way that Ilana has deftly captured and rendered their movements, behaviours and individual personalities, as they question and comment with that air of self centeredness only cats are capable of. A fine line is struck between abstraction and realism.
Touching, poignant, humorous and incredibly relatable, these little strips can really lift your day. There truly is something here for everyone. Give the Kickstarter and the preview pages a look and if you find yourself in it, if you connect with it then please consider backing it! There is a Sampler available on the kickstarter page that you can check out and see if it piques your interest like it did mine.
I am truly excited to see this fully translated and printed!
I couldn't resist the oppportunity to introduce you all to my own two cats, so meet:
and Kitty (yes that is his name, long story for another time!)
By: Ilana Zeffren
Published by Soaring Penguin Press
The Kickstarter campaign can be found here