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Penny: A Graphic Memoir

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This colorful graphic novel features the philosophical and existential musings of a cat named Penny. Told through a collection of stories, Penny: A Graphic Memoir wanders through her colorful imagination as she recalls her humble beginnings on the streets of New York and waxes poetic about the realities of her sheltered life living in an apartment with her owners. Filled wit This colorful graphic novel features the philosophical and existential musings of a cat named Penny. Told through a collection of stories, Penny: A Graphic Memoir wanders through her colorful imagination as she recalls her humble beginnings on the streets of New York and waxes poetic about the realities of her sheltered life living in an apartment with her owners. Filled with ennui, angst, and vivid dreams, Penny proves that being a cat is more profound than we once thought. A unique blend of high art and humor, Penny: A Graphic Memoir perfectly portrays one cat's struggles between her animal instincts, her philosophical reflections, and the lush creature comforts of a life with human servants. • DISTINCTIVE, BEAUTIFUL, AND FUNNY: Reading like a highbrow Garfield, this unique dose of sardonic wit and cat content combines humor and storytelling with Karl Stevens' very realistic illustration style. Fresh and imaginative, this graphic novel feels familiar and accessible, featuring one of the world's most beloved animals. • IMPRESSIVE AND DECORATED AUTHOR: Karl Stevens has written four graphic novels, and his comics have appeared regularly in the New Yorker, Village Voice, and Boston Phoenix. His work has been well received all around, and The Lodger was a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist. • UNIQUE GIFT FOR CAT LOVERS: For cat lovers who have all the classic cat humor books, this is something new that's both unique but familiar, combining a new voice with stunning artwork in a fresh format. For anyone who wonders what their cat is thinking, this book is pitch-perfect, and the gorgeous artwork and package make it a delightful present.


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This colorful graphic novel features the philosophical and existential musings of a cat named Penny. Told through a collection of stories, Penny: A Graphic Memoir wanders through her colorful imagination as she recalls her humble beginnings on the streets of New York and waxes poetic about the realities of her sheltered life living in an apartment with her owners. Filled wit This colorful graphic novel features the philosophical and existential musings of a cat named Penny. Told through a collection of stories, Penny: A Graphic Memoir wanders through her colorful imagination as she recalls her humble beginnings on the streets of New York and waxes poetic about the realities of her sheltered life living in an apartment with her owners. Filled with ennui, angst, and vivid dreams, Penny proves that being a cat is more profound than we once thought. A unique blend of high art and humor, Penny: A Graphic Memoir perfectly portrays one cat's struggles between her animal instincts, her philosophical reflections, and the lush creature comforts of a life with human servants. • DISTINCTIVE, BEAUTIFUL, AND FUNNY: Reading like a highbrow Garfield, this unique dose of sardonic wit and cat content combines humor and storytelling with Karl Stevens' very realistic illustration style. Fresh and imaginative, this graphic novel feels familiar and accessible, featuring one of the world's most beloved animals. • IMPRESSIVE AND DECORATED AUTHOR: Karl Stevens has written four graphic novels, and his comics have appeared regularly in the New Yorker, Village Voice, and Boston Phoenix. His work has been well received all around, and The Lodger was a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist. • UNIQUE GIFT FOR CAT LOVERS: For cat lovers who have all the classic cat humor books, this is something new that's both unique but familiar, combining a new voice with stunning artwork in a fresh format. For anyone who wonders what their cat is thinking, this book is pitch-perfect, and the gorgeous artwork and package make it a delightful present.

30 review for Penny: A Graphic Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Peterhans

    I love cats. I've grown up with cats, I've always had cats around. I have a cat now. I'm the guy who comes to visit you, and your normally shy cat will climb all over me. What I'm trying to say is I love cats, guys. Fiction involving cats as a character can go several ways. My least favourite kind anthropomorphises cats too much, makes them speak and think like a human being. This book seems to go down that route, although it does something different too. The book is about Penny, a cat who lived o I love cats. I've grown up with cats, I've always had cats around. I have a cat now. I'm the guy who comes to visit you, and your normally shy cat will climb all over me. What I'm trying to say is I love cats, guys. Fiction involving cats as a character can go several ways. My least favourite kind anthropomorphises cats too much, makes them speak and think like a human being. This book seems to go down that route, although it does something different too. The book is about Penny, a cat who lived on the street and was adopted by the author and his significant other. Turns out that Penny has a rich intellectual inner life, and likes to ponder the feline condition. This boils down to her having a lot philosophical thoughts, and linking that to her personal predicament. How she views humans (and specifically her humans) is a bit more cliched - she is a prisoner in a velvet cage, she doesn't really think much of her owners, etc. It's the usual spiel about cats not really loving their owners, or of them being cold and calculating animals. I personally think that's a bit hackneyed, as in my experience cats are quite sensitive and responsive. All of this makes Penny a quirky character, but also kind of... well, boring. There's nowhere left to go with the character. The book is a collection of mostly one page comics, Penny grumping about her life, and several multi-page stories - one in which indoor cat Penny escapes her building is the one that sticks most in my mind (probably because this would be a personal nightmare scenario). I do think the art is great, and has a real sweet edge to it, full of warm colours. (Picked up an ARC through Edelweiss)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Geoff

    Mixing existential ennui with cats seems like a match made in heaven, and the humor works (largely because of the juxtapositions between questioning reality and the meaning of existence and hunting birds and purring). But the joke isn't really enough to sustain an entire book. And when the author moves into longer stories it really isn't as interesting. Would work great as episodes in a magazine or webcomic, though. **Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for a free copy in exchange for Mixing existential ennui with cats seems like a match made in heaven, and the humor works (largely because of the juxtapositions between questioning reality and the meaning of existence and hunting birds and purring). But the joke isn't really enough to sustain an entire book. And when the author moves into longer stories it really isn't as interesting. Would work great as episodes in a magazine or webcomic, though. **Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    Worst Garfield collection yet. Odie doesn't show up at all! Mostly the book consists of one-page gags with the cat waxing philosophical for several panels and then offering a haiku-like twist that hews closer to its animal nature. That repetition actually gets pretty darn old pretty darn fast. There are around four multi-page sequences that offer small adventures to break up the monotony -- running away from home, owners on vacation, moving household, pet-sitting a bird -- but they are very brief Worst Garfield collection yet. Odie doesn't show up at all! Mostly the book consists of one-page gags with the cat waxing philosophical for several panels and then offering a haiku-like twist that hews closer to its animal nature. That repetition actually gets pretty darn old pretty darn fast. There are around four multi-page sequences that offer small adventures to break up the monotony -- running away from home, owners on vacation, moving household, pet-sitting a bird -- but they are very brief and it's right back to the formula. It's well drawn at least. Probably best read a few pages at a time and by someone who really likes cats a lot.

  4. 5 out of 5

    7jane

    Here's something I came across while looking for books in my favorite bookstore here. A story of a calico cat, born a street-cat, living with a young couple (incl. the author) in New York and Boston. It's not a whole-life story, so she's still living, with another cat, Pepper, as a companion - what life is like with the two cats would be a nice continuation for this story. This is a humorous look into the head of an introspective, life-musing cat who is still a typical cat. Humor cannot be avoide Here's something I came across while looking for books in my favorite bookstore here. A story of a calico cat, born a street-cat, living with a young couple (incl. the author) in New York and Boston. It's not a whole-life story, so she's still living, with another cat, Pepper, as a companion - what life is like with the two cats would be a nice continuation for this story. This is a humorous look into the head of an introspective, life-musing cat who is still a typical cat. Humor cannot be avoided. There are dreams (bit like humans'), toy encounters, memories of the past. And events: left alone when owners go on vacation, escaping into the street but not too long, at the vet for an eye issue, watching a fly, wanting a caged bird who the humans are temporarily bird-sitting, one Christmas and New Year, and hiding from a vacuum. The art style of this book is lovely. Penny's inner voice is (unintentionally) funny, deep but very cat. Humans are seen through her POV (sometimes voices only), or from reader's POV, how they interpret Penny's actions and reactions. One example of inner dialogue: "In order to be truly free, one must eradicate the ego." (she says) "But I've never seen an ego, let alone find a way to kill it." (sits up, looks around in all directions) (lies down again) "Contemplating this dippy nonsense will surely be end of me." She's food-centered, often. And her moods towards people, toys, and other animals she meets are interesting. The last dream in the book is particularly trippy, dreamt while hiding *in* the couch. I think this book is best read gradually, because otherwise one might get slightly numb at Penny's great thoughts. But it's a great look into a cat's world, with thoughts and actions and dreams that might make you smile, and think 'that's so cat'. XD :)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sue Em

    Rescued from the streets, Penny lives a rather boring pampered existence while having a full and vivid mental life full of existential ponderings. I thoroughly enjoyed dichotomy of Penny stretched out in a patch of sunlight as she deems the bright light to be a portal to another dimension. I can understand it may not be everyone's cup of tea, but as a fan of cats and sarcasm it brought me many a smile. The illustrations are of a quality I don't normally see in too many graphic novels, several ar Rescued from the streets, Penny lives a rather boring pampered existence while having a full and vivid mental life full of existential ponderings. I thoroughly enjoyed dichotomy of Penny stretched out in a patch of sunlight as she deems the bright light to be a portal to another dimension. I can understand it may not be everyone's cup of tea, but as a fan of cats and sarcasm it brought me many a smile. The illustrations are of a quality I don't normally see in too many graphic novels, several are frameable. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Peacegal

    PENNY is an absolute gem--it's not the type of graphic novel our library usually gets, but I'm so glad we did. Stevens imagines the rich inner world of Penny, a well-fed and pampered tortoiseshell kitty who reminiscences, ponders the nature of existence, and even enters an inter-dimensional portal while her people mostly make the sort of inane comments we all make to our pets. The artwork is stunning--the artist is truly adept at capturing the many moods, postures, and expressions of cats. Felin PENNY is an absolute gem--it's not the type of graphic novel our library usually gets, but I'm so glad we did. Stevens imagines the rich inner world of Penny, a well-fed and pampered tortoiseshell kitty who reminiscences, ponders the nature of existence, and even enters an inter-dimensional portal while her people mostly make the sort of inane comments we all make to our pets. The artwork is stunning--the artist is truly adept at capturing the many moods, postures, and expressions of cats. Feline fans will recognize much of their own cats in these pages. I dearly hope we will see more of Penny's adventures soon.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Deepika

    I haven’t lived with a cat, but I still find Penny relatable because Penny’s struggles are mine too. Her philosophical meditations are urgent. What is life? How do we cope with existential dread? Why are we here? What is our place in the universe? Is it possible to have freedom and safety? Is a quiet life of contemplation and reflection enough? Penny turns these questions in a self-important tone in her head. Her reverie and thought experiments (she is obsessed with extra dimensions and portals I haven’t lived with a cat, but I still find Penny relatable because Penny’s struggles are mine too. Her philosophical meditations are urgent. What is life? How do we cope with existential dread? Why are we here? What is our place in the universe? Is it possible to have freedom and safety? Is a quiet life of contemplation and reflection enough? Penny turns these questions in a self-important tone in her head. Her reverie and thought experiments (she is obsessed with extra dimensions and portals and asteroids made of cat food) are often broken by her humans who can’t see the postmodernist philosopher in her. Are there answers? Perhaps, asking is enough. “Eh. I should probably stop asking all these questions and be happy that I am warm, dry, and well-fed. It is good to be a petit bourgeois wallowing in smug privilege.”

  8. 4 out of 5

    Evelina | AvalinahsBooks

    How I read this: Free ebook copy received through Edelweiss 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 This is like the perfect coffee table book for a cat lover. It's got: 1. Beautiful illustrations of a cat's life 2. Philosophizing 3. Anecdotal short storylines 4. Cuteness and jokes Basically, it's perfect to pick up and read for a short bit. I really liked the illustrations, and the themes are funny too. It's like, all the things we imagine a cat ponders as she lives a lazy life on the couch. Is she thinking of bir How I read this: Free ebook copy received through Edelweiss 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 This is like the perfect coffee table book for a cat lover. It's got: 1. Beautiful illustrations of a cat's life 2. Philosophizing 3. Anecdotal short storylines 4. Cuteness and jokes Basically, it's perfect to pick up and read for a short bit. I really liked the illustrations, and the themes are funny too. It's like, all the things we imagine a cat ponders as she lives a lazy life on the couch. Is she thinking of birds to catch? Or the meaning of existence? And what has she been staring at on that wall for over a minute now? It's best to read these in a short burst, cause they don't have a storyline as such, it's more like short anecdotes. But they're all very relatable if you're a cat owner, and you've probably wondered if your cat is thinking those very things yourself. I chuckled at a lot of them. Plus, the drawings are really cute! I thank the publisher for giving me a free copy of the ebook in exchange to my honest review. This has not affected my opinion. Book Blog | Bookstagram | Bookish Twitter

  9. 4 out of 5

    Briar's Reviews

    Penny by Karl Stevens is an interesting graphic novel about a very philosophical cat. This book was a little dull for me, but the illustrations were incredible. Penny was a stray kitten on the street who was picked up, "kidnapped", and adopted by a couple. They bring Penny home and the cat begins to think about everything philosophical about a cat, existence and life itself. The cat is sassy, intelligent and has an intriguing story. I thought this book might be funnier or a bit more engaging than Penny by Karl Stevens is an interesting graphic novel about a very philosophical cat. This book was a little dull for me, but the illustrations were incredible. Penny was a stray kitten on the street who was picked up, "kidnapped", and adopted by a couple. They bring Penny home and the cat begins to think about everything philosophical about a cat, existence and life itself. The cat is sassy, intelligent and has an intriguing story. I thought this book might be funnier or a bit more engaging than it was. I found it very slow to get through but I really like cats and graphic novels and I really wanted to finish it. Overall, this is a good book but it wasn't fast enough or funny enough for me. It was advertised as a comedy on NetGalley which is why I was excited for it. Three out of five stars. Thank you to NetGalley and Chronicle Books for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This is a rather lovingly illustrated book about the life of a very dull cat, who thinks big thoughts. And that is it. The cat questions her existence. The cat questions life. The cat pays with toy mice. The only excitement is when the cat escapes her apartment, but other than that, nothing more happens. A lot of this is typical cat things, such as eating, sleeping, and playing. But, as I said, the pictures are lovely and very spot on to how cats look and climb and sleep and do all the things they This is a rather lovingly illustrated book about the life of a very dull cat, who thinks big thoughts. And that is it. The cat questions her existence. The cat questions life. The cat pays with toy mice. The only excitement is when the cat escapes her apartment, but other than that, nothing more happens. A lot of this is typical cat things, such as eating, sleeping, and playing. But, as I said, the pictures are lovely and very spot on to how cats look and climb and sleep and do all the things they like to do. But if you are looking for a plot of some kind, or story then you have come to the wrong place. Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Chris Browning

    Cats have been well served by comics and graphic artists: James Kochalka’s Peanut Butter and Jeremy, Jeffrey Brown’s cat books and Judith Kerr’s glorious Mog books spring readily to mind. And they all are concerned about what the inner life of a cat is, both sacred and profane. And Penny feels likes the apex of that genre - beautifully observed (my cat Cluedo, who is far closer to Penny in temperament than her brother Spooky, walked in for a bit as if looking for something and then left as I was Cats have been well served by comics and graphic artists: James Kochalka’s Peanut Butter and Jeremy, Jeffrey Brown’s cat books and Judith Kerr’s glorious Mog books spring readily to mind. And they all are concerned about what the inner life of a cat is, both sacred and profane. And Penny feels likes the apex of that genre - beautifully observed (my cat Cluedo, who is far closer to Penny in temperament than her brother Spooky, walked in for a bit as if looking for something and then left as I was reading it), very funny, beautifully drawn and occasionally genuinely moving. It’s daft and silly but has glimpses of that strange melancholy you sometimes get from cats, that air of a creature lost in their thoughts as they gaze at shadows or dust motes. Other animals don’t always have that same glimpse into a deeper world of emotion that cats do but Stevens captures it brilliantly here. It’s a beautiful and joyous book and, rather wonderfully, even has a dream of flight along the lines of one of Mog’s most iconic moments. A truly special book

  12. 5 out of 5

    Theediscerning

    If you expected a book about a most worldly-wise, mystically-minded moggie to be a lazily-drawn comic, think again. This shows great craft and artistry in giving a portrait of a cat that just seems to be doing cute cat things, and sleeping it off when there was little 'it' in the first place to speak of, but actually is cogitating life, the universe and everything. As great as the visuals are, this is for dipping into and not binging on, for it can get one-note, even if it is broken up with the If you expected a book about a most worldly-wise, mystically-minded moggie to be a lazily-drawn comic, think again. This shows great craft and artistry in giving a portrait of a cat that just seems to be doing cute cat things, and sleeping it off when there was little 'it' in the first place to speak of, but actually is cogitating life, the universe and everything. As great as the visuals are, this is for dipping into and not binging on, for it can get one-note, even if it is broken up with the humans' holidaying and leaving Penny at home alone, and other more plotted sections. Also, Penny's interior monologue does stretch from the opening, where you think she'd be able to understand "Tenet" at the first watch, to the fact she thinks a stuffed mouse with a broken ear is her boyfriend. An odd swing to the character, then (partly caused, you eventually work out, by a non-sequential presentation of stand-alone pages desperately out of order), but this whole effort is odd – and oddly compelling, too.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Babs

    Are cats as introspective as Penny? I wonder... A fun read for cat lovers.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    This is a somewhat amusing "memoir" from Penny, a cat Karl Stevens and his significant other rescued from the street. It takes a not-completely-original view that this cat is very wise and insightful and philosophical, and Karl and his partner are comparatively shallow, attributing no insight to Penny at all. Reminded me of the story of Edward the Hamster by Elias, which I thought was way funnier, and also reminded me of the horror manga-ka's Junji Ito's Cat Diary, where he (tongue-in-cheek) cre This is a somewhat amusing "memoir" from Penny, a cat Karl Stevens and his significant other rescued from the street. It takes a not-completely-original view that this cat is very wise and insightful and philosophical, and Karl and his partner are comparatively shallow, attributing no insight to Penny at all. Reminded me of the story of Edward the Hamster by Elias, which I thought was way funnier, and also reminded me of the horror manga-ka's Junji Ito's Cat Diary, where he (tongue-in-cheek) credits his cute cats with inspiring his most creepy manga tales. Now, Karl Stevens is a painter so if the tale itself was just okay, the painterly cartooning of Stevens is amazing, wonderful. One of the best artists in comics/illustration.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Online Eccentric Librarian

    More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ Imagine if a photorealistic Garfield sat all day contemplating existential crises (instead of lasagna) but always only ends up shrugging and either eating or sleeping and you'll get an idea of Penny. Too much of the story was a lot of mumbo jumbo metaphysical musings that didn't really go anywhere and never really had a humorous punchline. In that regard, the book became a one-note from end to finish that never really More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ Imagine if a photorealistic Garfield sat all day contemplating existential crises (instead of lasagna) but always only ends up shrugging and either eating or sleeping and you'll get an idea of Penny. Too much of the story was a lot of mumbo jumbo metaphysical musings that didn't really go anywhere and never really had a humorous punchline. In that regard, the book became a one-note from end to finish that never really captivated, amused, humored, or intrigued. Story: Penny was rescued (or kidnapped, if you ask her) from the trash of New York's streets and given a warm home and steady food. She thinks she misses the freedom and spends each day having acid trips on catnip, wondering about the universe, and giving her toys names and calling them friends. The humans give her petting, food, call her stupid when she plays with strings - all the while otherwise alternating between insulting her and putting up with her. It makes for a very mixed message about unrequited love on both sides of the relationship. I can see how the author decided to do this: watching his cat just stare or idly play all day and then deciding to create a stream of consciousness in her head. The problem is that we never come to like Penny, the human couple, or any of her 'faux personality' cat toys. Penny never really seems happy and the humans, who have memories of rescuing her maggot covered kitten body, seem to see her more as a separate oddity than as a member of the family. This is like a cat story written by someone who never had a cat until recently and has no idea about the bond human and felines form. Compounding the issue are logic holes: e.g., Penny contemplating living in the desert - how would a NYC cat who only lived in one small area even know what a desert was? Penny is drawn very true to life - a tortie (tortoise shell) stray with blotchy features and admittedly a fairly unresponsive face. Most of the expressions the cat gives look the same - and very disaffected from the deep thought bubbles above her. I applaud a true-to-life drawing of a cat but can't help but feel disappointed that the author failed so spectacularly to convey all the different and subtle expressions a cat can make. I can't help but make comparisons to Neil Gaiman's Sandman Night of a Thousand Cats and how there was so much more pathos there in giving cats voices. Penny isn't a bad story but due to the one note nature (contemplate random subject then give up) it felt long and fairly dull. I felt as disassociated from the cat as the owners did in the story. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

  16. 4 out of 5

    April Gray

    I enjoyed this, it was fun. Penny was born an alley cat, and gets "rescued" by a couple, who take her back to their apartment. We're basically hearing Penny's inner monologue throughout the book, and for the most part, it stays out of cliche-land- the "I'm a cat, so I don't really care about my human/s" cliche is present, but we do see Penny admitting to some attachment beyond "they give me food, so I tolerate them," which is nice. Penny does a lot of pondering the cat condition; is she really b I enjoyed this, it was fun. Penny was born an alley cat, and gets "rescued" by a couple, who take her back to their apartment. We're basically hearing Penny's inner monologue throughout the book, and for the most part, it stays out of cliche-land- the "I'm a cat, so I don't really care about my human/s" cliche is present, but we do see Penny admitting to some attachment beyond "they give me food, so I tolerate them," which is nice. Penny does a lot of pondering the cat condition; is she really better off as an indoor dweller with an easy life but limited space to roam and less opportunity to do real cat stuff? Would she be happier living on the street, where she'd have extremely limited access to food and shelter, and be in danger almost all of the time, but would have the thrill of hunting for her food, roaming as she wanted? I enjoyed Penny's perspective on life, and wow! she has some really wild dreams! Also, I love the relationships she has with her toys, that was fun. The art is really nice, lots of warm colors and catness.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ingrid Stephens

    Penny, a graphic novel about the life and thoughts of a house cat. I am not surprised to find that Penny is as philosophical as Plato and spends what time is not used for sleeping or eating for existential musings over the meaning of her life. While missing the wild, wilderness of her kitten-hood on the street, Penny is still a slave to the creature comforts that her humans have provided. Karl Stevens validates my belief that catnip is simply weed for cats, and they get high off it, as well as my Penny, a graphic novel about the life and thoughts of a house cat. I am not surprised to find that Penny is as philosophical as Plato and spends what time is not used for sleeping or eating for existential musings over the meaning of her life. While missing the wild, wilderness of her kitten-hood on the street, Penny is still a slave to the creature comforts that her humans have provided. Karl Stevens validates my belief that catnip is simply weed for cats, and they get high off it, as well as my fear that my cats sleep on my chest at night because they are trying to decide if I will be tasty when they have to eat me if I die during the night. Simply loved this graphic novel and Penny. Recommended for cat lovers and those who wonder what a cat is thinking when it spends an hour staring at a blank wall. I received this proof free from Chronicle Books and NetGalley in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne

    I reserve five star ratings for books that really really mean something to me. This is about a 4.5, but as time goes on it may move up. Sometimes a book I think is good I continue to consider and decide it isn't good, it's very very good; other times I look at a rating and can't remember what the book is about so I don't know why I thought I liked it so much. I think this one will go up in estimation. This isn't so much a narrative save for a couple of episodes, but more vignettes, tiny musings f I reserve five star ratings for books that really really mean something to me. This is about a 4.5, but as time goes on it may move up. Sometimes a book I think is good I continue to consider and decide it isn't good, it's very very good; other times I look at a rating and can't remember what the book is about so I don't know why I thought I liked it so much. I think this one will go up in estimation. This isn't so much a narrative save for a couple of episodes, but more vignettes, tiny musings from a cat who understands that she is the center of the universe. I didn't really like the people calling her stupid but then she calls them stupid, so I guess it's even. There are lines I still think about and smile. ("Mom always said I'd die in prison." "So much thinking. So so so much thinking.") Well, I guess you had to be there. Stevens captures feline expressions magnificently. I read the library's copy, then went out and bought my own. 'Nuff said.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Athena Funtowicz

    I enjoyed reading Penny. I thought of my own rescue cat while I read it and put him in Penny's shoes a lot. The daily life of this cat as a memoir kind of reminded me of a blend of Garfield with a much more refined cat. At points in the story, I giggled. At other points, I had to set the book down and come back a few hours later. Overall, I would recommend this book to more of an older age group. I do not think that it is engaging enough for children unless it is split into more of a chapter/sec I enjoyed reading Penny. I thought of my own rescue cat while I read it and put him in Penny's shoes a lot. The daily life of this cat as a memoir kind of reminded me of a blend of Garfield with a much more refined cat. At points in the story, I giggled. At other points, I had to set the book down and come back a few hours later. Overall, I would recommend this book to more of an older age group. I do not think that it is engaging enough for children unless it is split into more of a chapter/section book. I did enjoy it though and think that it could be a hit for a somewhat niche market. I just reviewed Penny by Karl Stevens. #Penny #NetGalley

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Scheid

    Wow! Beautiful illustrations and a kitty cat with a wild, philosophical imagination! Penny was a real treat! This one made me laugh out loud and now I am wondering what my cats at home think about during their days.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Caleb Dagenhart

    Beautifully illustrated and wonderfully conceived. Karl Stevens displays an excellent grasp of cats, and many of the observations about the title cat, Penny, are so similar to what I've seen with my cat. I very much enjoyed flipping through this work. A cat-lover's dream! Beautifully illustrated and wonderfully conceived. Karl Stevens displays an excellent grasp of cats, and many of the observations about the title cat, Penny, are so similar to what I've seen with my cat. I very much enjoyed flipping through this work. A cat-lover's dream!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Josephine

    Really well illustrated with perfectly told vignettes about the thoughts of a cat. I always wonder what is my cat thinking, and this captures it quite perfectly. This book covers pretty everything an indoor (and sometimes outdoor) cat may dream about or do on a regular basis. I really loved the one where the cat gets into a shipping box and feels like he's going into another world, and the cat thinks how can I be in this world and the box world at the same time, and how do my people know I'm in Really well illustrated with perfectly told vignettes about the thoughts of a cat. I always wonder what is my cat thinking, and this captures it quite perfectly. This book covers pretty everything an indoor (and sometimes outdoor) cat may dream about or do on a regular basis. I really loved the one where the cat gets into a shipping box and feels like he's going into another world, and the cat thinks how can I be in this world and the box world at the same time, and how do my people know I'm in here? Highly recommend it to anyone with a cat. Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for a free eARC in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    alex

    thank you to netgalley for the review copy! this book is delightful, and reminds me of this weakerthans song. thank you to netgalley for the review copy! this book is delightful, and reminds me of this weakerthans song.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

    This graphic novel is perfect for cat lovers. I enjoyed following Penny through her daily cat life. She is exactly what I imagine cats to be... philosophical, intelligent, and independent. Every day she contemplatee her cat existence while hunting, playing, or sleeping. It was a little humorous, I found myself chuckling a couple of times. It was very heartwarming and cute! The one thing I would change would probably be the art style. It was beautiful but I didnt feel like it matched the tone of This graphic novel is perfect for cat lovers. I enjoyed following Penny through her daily cat life. She is exactly what I imagine cats to be... philosophical, intelligent, and independent. Every day she contemplatee her cat existence while hunting, playing, or sleeping. It was a little humorous, I found myself chuckling a couple of times. It was very heartwarming and cute! The one thing I would change would probably be the art style. It was beautiful but I didnt feel like it matched the tone of the book. Overall, it was a fun read and I highly recommend to any and all cat lover's.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Sure we don't actually know what cats are thinking, but this seems super accurate. I mean, have you ever watched a cat being weird? They are clearly living big inner lives that we puny humans will never understand. This beautifully illustrated graphic novel proves my theory that cats are happiest when thinking about the deaths of small things and their humans. Recommended for: cat lovers I received a digital ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Sure we don't actually know what cats are thinking, but this seems super accurate. I mean, have you ever watched a cat being weird? They are clearly living big inner lives that we puny humans will never understand. This beautifully illustrated graphic novel proves my theory that cats are happiest when thinking about the deaths of small things and their humans. Recommended for: cat lovers I received a digital ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Devin

    mandatory reading for cat owners

  27. 4 out of 5

    Juliette Autumnbook

    2.5 stars Thank you NetGalley and Chronicle Books for allowing me to read an advanced copy op Penny. The reason why I asked to read this comic before the publish date was the beautiful cover and the warm and sweet feeling I got from it. And I am obsessed with cats! I expected it to be a beautiful story about the life of Penny the cat. However what I got was a little different. This review I have divided in pros and cons. Pros - The drawings are absolutely stunning. It’s a feast for the eye to read 2.5 stars Thank you NetGalley and Chronicle Books for allowing me to read an advanced copy op Penny. The reason why I asked to read this comic before the publish date was the beautiful cover and the warm and sweet feeling I got from it. And I am obsessed with cats! I expected it to be a beautiful story about the life of Penny the cat. However what I got was a little different. This review I have divided in pros and cons. Pros - The drawings are absolutely stunning. It’s a feast for the eye to read this comic. It’s so beautiful with amazing warm colours and a lot of detail. Penny looks absolutely cute and very realistic and still has an animation vibe to her. - The character Penny is witty, smart and a cute character to follow. She does have some negative things to her character. I will get to that more in my cons. - I have a stray cat myself and the story did feel relatable in at some points which I really enjoyed. There where some scenes that will look familiar to a cat owners which I liked. Cons - When you follow and animal it can often go two ways. The character stays true to itself or it becomes to human. In this comic it was definitely the second. Penny doesn’t really feel or act like a cat. She keeps having philosophical thoughts about life, her existence, her surroundings and her owners. She feels a little unreal for a cat. She also seems a little depressed. She has a lot of sad and dark thoughts. This whole story is very gloom and if you are looking for a fun and light read this really isn’t it. - The story is not really a story. It’s more a collection of short comics on each page. In each comic Penny asks a philosophical question and then tries to answer it or keeps thinking about that question before we move on to the next page and next question. It’s a little dull and progresses very slowly. It really took me some effort to finish this comic. The only reason why I finished it was the drawings which where very compelling and made me want to see more. - They way she views her humans and her situation is a little cliché. She does not think much of her humans, she doesn’t see them as family or friends, but as something that gives her food and gives her some attention. She views her surrounding as an prison and does not really seem to enjoy life. She doesn’t really show any emotion and is more focussed on what her life is and should be. I have two cats and they always show emotion especially towards me as their owner. They always greet me, ask for attention, and they seemed to enjoy everything they have. I just disagree on how Penny is portrayed in this comic. I really believe cats have emotions and are responsive to their owners. I was a little disappointed with the comic. It’s just looked so cute and sweet. After reading it I felt a little down and gloomy. Penny just doesn’t seem to love her life even though her humans try to give her a great life.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    3.5 stars. This was really cute. I'd recommend this to anyone who loves their cat. The art style was not typical of something you'd see in other graphic novels, but it was lovely. 3.5 stars. This was really cute. I'd recommend this to anyone who loves their cat. The art style was not typical of something you'd see in other graphic novels, but it was lovely.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    Cat pov comics will get me every time. And, the artwork is amazing.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    I received an eARC from the author/publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. (Review will go live on my blog on April 12) Penny is sort of a slice of life collection of comics from the perspective of the eponymous Penny, a black and red tabby. The art is done in coloured pencil, and the style is on the photorealistic side, and though it took me a while to get used to, in the end I quite liked it. Penny is an interesting cat. One moment she’s philosophinsing, and the next she’s I received an eARC from the author/publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. (Review will go live on my blog on April 12) Penny is sort of a slice of life collection of comics from the perspective of the eponymous Penny, a black and red tabby. The art is done in coloured pencil, and the style is on the photorealistic side, and though it took me a while to get used to, in the end I quite liked it. Penny is an interesting cat. One moment she’s philosophinsing, and the next she’s distracted by scratches behind the ear. She’s vain, and fickle, and disdainful. And she’s completely self-aware. Honestly, the sub-heading for this graphic memoir could have been 'the existential musings of a cat.' There were some really funny and relatable moments throughout the book. One of my faves was Penny's reaction to a storm on page 40. There were also some downright strange moments, such as Penny's various dreams and catnip-induced hallucinations. I wasn’t a fan of the human characters - one (the female) was just there to randomly interject words that felt boring and inane, and the other (male) was downright nasty at times- threatening to find new ways to skin Penny, or calling her ‘genius’ in a condescending and sarcastic tone. As a cat lover that bothered me and did affect my enjoyment. I'm unsure if it was meant to be humorous or relatable, but it didn't land. My only other small quibble is that the individual vignettes aren’t always clearly labelled. Since some were confined to a single page, and others unfolded over several pages, it was a bit jarring at times. Overall, it was a slightly offbeat, but interesting way of looking at the world through a cat's eyes. I would recommend to cat lovers who enjoy trying to work out what on earth is their cat thinking.

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