Catwad’s a blue-gray cat. His best friend Blurmp’s a sunny, orange-colored cat. Both have dispositions to match their pelts.
Benton’s collection of comic strips, some only a page of panels but others stretching to seven pages, offers humor in the odd-couple vein. Direct descendants of Ren and Stimpy, cantankerous Catwad and airheaded Blurmp trade quips back and forth, spouting nonsense, often with a child-pleasing disgusting edge. Each ministory has a title. In “Love,” Blurmp announces an all-encompassing love for “everything.” Catwad demands, “Well, what about hatred?” After a lengthy think, Blurmp affirms that “everything” includes hatred, trumping Catwad’s incredulity with, “I love you. And hatred is your favorite thing.” “Stop wrecking hate for me!” Catwad screams. In “The Cold,” when Catwad tells an ailing Blurmp that the virus is inside him, Blurmp makes the (il)logical leap to pregnancy and names the supposed fetal virus Sniffleen, later framing her “baby pictures.” “Are those all old Kleenexes?” Catwad asks. And so on. Farts, rat sweat, giant mosquitoes—it’s all in there. The full-color comics show the two wildly expressive cats on plain or patterned backgrounds, Catwad with a perpetual frown and Blurmp with a vapid grin.
It’s sketch-comedy nonsense, but preteens will be onboard immediately and asking for the next volume at the close of this short collection. (Graphic fiction. 9-14)