Madame Cat by Nancy Pena review – The daily struggles of a comic artist and a cat owner


It is common for cats to feel that they are the owner and that the human is their pet. However, we can only hope they don’t all have the attitude the titular character of Madame Cat possesses. This new English language release from Humanoids’ new Life Drawn imprint is the latest in a series of cat themed graphic novels from Angoulême award nominated comic creator Nancy Peña.

The main focus of this comic is the struggle Peña faces everyday with being a cat owner and a comic book artist. Beyond the usual problems you’d expect like throwing up in inconvenient places, drinking from the toilet and making a mess of clothing; we are introduced to the problems that are exclusive to a comic artist. This includes knocking over bottles of ink, leaving messy footprints from said ink and sabotaging both comic pitches and computer data by treading all over the keyboard. To make matters worse, Peña is also privy to Madame’s rather arrogant and sardonic nature. Always in the right in her mind, whilst Madame has that inquisitive nature that a lot of realistic depictions of cats possess, she also spends a good portion of the vignettes taking apart what Peña does and says with her own brand of cat logic. It’s a fine balance between charm and annoyance, but Peña manage to pull it off in fine form.


The comic is also helped along by some very strong artwork. Peña has a distinct and unique style which suits the style of storytelling and characters to a tee. In the same page, you can feel sympathy towards Peña for the constant frustration this annoying cat is putting in her life and laugh at the antics/musings of Madame as she navigates through life.


In a genre which has plenty of strong entries focusing on cats, Madame Cat stands tall amongst them and is a ton of fun to read. This is one that will appeal to both cat fans and fans of slice-of-life comedy strips. Nancy Peña is definitely a name to watch.

Madame Cat is out now from Life Drawn

9781594658136 – P/B – £9.99

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