The tricky dance of coming out and coming-of-age.
Camden is a cat, an astronomy enthusiast, and totally into his best monkey friend, Jeremiah. Camden is only comfortable writing about his attraction within a journal (one that his sister eventually finds, hinting that she knows and is very supportive). An encounter with an out rabbit selling T-shirts at a death metal concert nudges Camden toward a more open approach to living. He eventually kisses Jeremiah (blaming it on the dreadful cocktails they guzzle in the basement) and is also kissed by a girl who mistakes Camden’s politeness as flirtation. Camden ultimately finds his stride as a gay cat, even if he starts by mangling his ankle in a winceworthy accident. A slather of well-placed, well-paced humor (death by exploding testicles, barfing up hot dogs gone bad) gives some relatable grit and grime that make this less out-and-proud proselytizing and more slice-of-life hilarity. Unfortunately, the aggressive, lascivious, delinquent, drug-dealing, casually homophobic character of Jeremiah reflects negative tropes of black people thinly veiled by the form of an anthropomorphized monkey. The black-and-white illustrations in this compact graphic novel feature heavy lines and simple cartoon-style images that evoke the retro 1990s setting.
A story with potential that’s unfortunately marred by blatant racial stereotyping. (Graphic humor. 14-18)