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Anything Exciting Going on? Please, Kitty!

Posted November. 10, 2003 23:18,   


It is not often that we see comics about animals in Korea. Contrary to the Japanese comics that were popular in Korea such as “Animal Doctor,” “Strange Cat Kuro,” “Mr. Munjo and I,” and “Baron, the Cat Baron,” Korean writers/ animators have been disregarding animals. In the 1970s and 1980s, there were “Gangadin” and “Dooly” which were popular, but after that, we almost witnessed the extinction of animal comics since “Beaguette and Friends.”

“Cat” (Seoul Munwha Publishing Company), recently reissued, is a hardcore animal comic. Two volumes were issued as collector’s editions, and the volumes are planned to be published until the fifth one.

“Cat,” published in the comics magazine “Wink” in 1996, is an omnibus of episodes between the owner K and his cross-bred cat. It was attention-catching in those days since it involved a cat as the main theme, and the comics described of a tug of war between the wily cat and the owner K.

Female writer Kang Hyun-jun, 32, has been nurturing cats since young and can express their habits and expressions precisely. The writer carries funny stories in the comics: the cat scratches spots with odor if something smells bad and if somebody clips their nails off smoothly, they try to make them sharp again.

The owner K, who has fallen in love with a Persian cat that has a beautiful figure and beautiful fur, tries to train his hybrid cat to look like the Persian cat. However, there are episodes where he ends up loving his cross-bred cat more after he finds out that Persian cats are neither clean nor sanitary with their “poop” because of their long hair and laziness.

The most impressive episode in the most recent volume, the second one, is where a house cat and a thief cat are having a Wulin fight. The thief cat attacks the house cat using martial arts it attained while stealing things. The thief cat gives a huge blow to the house cat’s chest that it acquired from its experiences of smashing fish that he collected from garbage cans. However, it is of no use to the house cat, with its thickened rib bones, which has played the role of a pillow for the owner’s head for years.

Positive reviews were showing up in the readers’ review section on the online bookstore Aladdin saying, “Good comics to read when you need to lighten yourself or when you are feeling down,” and, “People who didn’t like cats will start to like them.”

Ms. Kang said, “’Cat’ is composed of short stories with one episode having eight pages, but the plotting of the ideas is more difficult than for a longer one, and I am worried because I am not able to produce any more of these stories.”