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WOE by Lucy Knisley Kirkus Star


A Housecat's Story of Despair

by Lucy Knisley ; illustrated by Lucy Knisley

Pub Date: July 2nd, 2024
ISBN: 9780593177631
Publisher: Random House Graphic

A compilation of Knisley’s webcomics about the life of her orange house cat, Linney.

Linney, “a glorious apricot-hued cloud of softness,” loves to yowl about the tragic woes that befall her: She experiences despair over empty food dishes, irritatingly persistent devotion from dog friend Flora, and the aggravations of life with Knisley’s “human kitten.” Linney’s “torrid past” (unknown to her humans, since she was adopted from a shelter as an adult) has left her with a single fang, and she melodramatically expresses her displeasure (“Woe. Woe. Woe.”) whenever she’s forced to undergo horrible inconveniences. Bestselling comic creator Knisley draws Linney’s exaggerated facial expressions and body language in a minimalist way that allows the cat to express a broad range of emotions, from self-important dismay to indulgent contentment. Linney’s magnificent fluffiness is shown to great effect, particularly after a humiliating haircut, and the ever-present fang stands out as part of her “Signature SneerTM” when Linney complains. The author’s skillful rendering of her devoted attachment to her cat sets this graphic novel apart, giving it an added layer of depth as a mature look at the arc of a cat’s life and relationships with her two- and four-legged family members. The clean, attractively colored scenes appear against a plain white background without solid panel outlines, making Linney’s expressive green eyes and orange fur pop. The story is conveyed through speech bubbles with fluid, dynamic lettering.

An amusing, heartfelt, and bittersweet read that will resonate deeply with pet lovers.

(Graphic fiction. 12-18)