Bee and PuppyCat

Hans_Tseng_logoThe original creation of Natasha Allegri, Bee and PuppyCat is a short animated cartoon. The show follows the adventures of twenty-something Bee, and the mysterious PuppyCat (Is he a puppy? A cat? Or both?) as they traverse both the reality of Bee and her lack of work, and that of PuppyCat and the fantastical realm where the pair pick up temp work.

Released by Cartoon Hangover, a branch of Channel Frederator, the show got its start through a Kickstarter campaign. Indeed the crowd funded campaign is the most successful animated Kickstarter, which I am proud to say I was a contributing member.

The show, which went into production shortly after the successful Kickstarter, is realised by Cartoon Hangover on its YouTube channel. Similar to the other Cartoon Hangover show, Bravest Warrior, the episodes lengths run at around six minutes. Due to the stretch goals reached by Kickstarter backers, the show is set to have has nine episodes in the season.

The art style of Bee and PuppyCat is similar to that of Allegri’s previous work, with the show having a very cutesy, curvy and charming aesthetic. The writing as well, is indicative of Allegri’s style with it being equal parts funny, awkward, and endearing. The show is a perfect blend of cutesy humour, engaging mystery and peculiar world creation that will make waiting for each new episode a breeze.

With episodes just starting to be released, Bee and PuppyCat is a show which will have you eagerly anticipating each new episode. If you have a spare ten minutes, why not head over to Cartoon Hangover’s Youtube channel and check out the two part pilot of Bee and PuppyCat – I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Natasha Allegri’s Adventure Time with Fionna & Cake

fionna_cake_tpb_cvrI would like to start this post by stating how much I enjoy Adventure Time. The innocence and fun that is coupled with a larger, slightly sinister back-story is what really draws me into the cartoon. The mixture of sub-textual implications and background images combine to make the world of Adventure Time such a solid show.

The prospect of gender swapping is not new to Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake, from the graphic novel, having appeared in three episodes (‘Fionna and Cake’, ‘Bad Little Boy,’ and Fionna briefly appears in ‘Mystery Dungeon’). Fionna, the opposite of Finn and Cake the counterpart of Jake, occupy a world incredibly similar to that of the original show. Previous episodes have seen the Ice King tell stories of the pair in his fan fictions which is seemingly where the pair originate. Characters that have featured previously are Prince Bubblegum, Lumpy Space Prince, Marshall Lee, and the surprisingly competent Ice Queen. It is said that the original inspiration for Fionna and Cake came from a small comic by Natasha Allegri where Fionna cannot go swimming as she has her period.

The graphic novel starts off with Cake telling the story of how volcanoes are formed, this starting fable is incredibly beautiful with the art and text blending to tell the bitter-sweet story. The story is soon interrupted by the Ice Queen who is wreaking havoc on some animals of the Land of Ooo. The graphic novel, which was originally published as six comics, sees the introduction of the Flame Princesses’ male counterpart, Flame Prince.

The graphic novel features two additional stories, which feature the work of  Lucy Knisley and Kate Leth, before continuing the larger story arch. The second story which has a focus on Lumpy Space Prince features a haunting, almost photo realistic depiction, which in its own way is both adorable but also very creepy.

The world that Natasha has created is a beautiful and charismatic one. The fullness of Fionna’s figure is also a very refreshing one, and the way in which relationships are portrayed really differentiate this graphic novel from other Adventure Time works. My gender may have something to do with it but I find myself drawn to Fionna and Cake far more. The art and character design of Natasha Allegri is simply stunning, so much so that I after I had finished the graphic novel, I sought out more of her work. Which lead to me making my first ever pledge to Kickstarter, with the money going Natasha Allergri’s new and original cartoon series, Bee and Puppycat.

At the heartof this graphic novel is an alternate story to Adventure Time but for those who have read and enjoyed it, it is a sweet, funny and emotional read. In my opinion, the Fionna and Cake sub-plot rivals that of the original. I look very forward to seeing more work of Natasha Allegri’s Fionna and Cake, as well as her Bee and Puppycat. I would highly recommend this book, however a knowledge and previous viewing of Adventure Time would be advantageous.