The Amazing Adventures of Cat Prentis is a serialized graphic novel that can easily be summed up remarkably well with two television allusions: it's Daria meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This unlikely duo works seamlessly well and creates an interesting tale that does take a few pages to get into, and even more pages to adjust to the artwork.
Cat Prentis didn't appreciate her father and her mentor changing her classes because of her isolated nature, nor having to spend them with an old friend or an annoying enemy. Nor the demons she had to spend her summer exorcising.
The first couple of pages are the roughest because of the comics bizarre television approach and art style, but after surviving the opening the comic proves to be worth a read for both fans of Daria, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and fans of most indie comics or webcomics but could easily not hit it off well with them because of the chapter's unique approach and artwork. The comic clearly has a television show's approach, specifically Daria's, with little action and no narration, only dialogue. While this would seem like a negative handicap to this issue, not only does it make it unique, the style is so effectively used that I became very invested in the story and the characters despite the unusual approach. Of course, the moments with demons that make me think Buffy are far too few and in-between for the moment, but all of their moments foreshadow great ones to lying ahead.
There were some questionable choices made in the first chapter.
The biggest and most face palming choice is the name of the title character, Cat Prentis. Later, on the final page of the comic, she is called an "Apprentice." Get it? Prentis? Apprentice? Yeah, play on words are rarely funny and this example is far from an exception.
There are also odd inconsistencies with the dialogue that are hard too miss. While already being a bit too quirky for some readers, there is a mixed view in the dialogue about cursing. At first, the words are all easily (and obviously) avoided, like "frac" instead of the more vulgar term. But soon, there are curse words flying everywhere, including a vulgar "frac." Cursing is not a huge issue, but since it was easily avoided in the opening of the comic, it feels misplaced to start cursing in the middle.
The dialogue mostly consists of teenage girls talking to each other, who sometimes come with their own girlish screeching of "ohmygodohmygodohmygod." But even these mind numbingly bland clichés can not stop me from liking this comic (though there are definitely a lot of clichéd lines the comic could have dealt without). The dialogue develops the characters a lot more than the average first issue does, and still keeps the pacing pretty solid.
Each character is also very distinctive. Cat Prentis is a very laid-back girl who does not want to take drama and has no friends. Her old friend is a blond (with average intelligence despite being overly girly and clueless at times. She has a priest as a mentor, and there's a pretentious girl in her drama class who's more of a thorn in her side in this chapter than the demons she fights. All of these characters have clear character traits, and while they are not all likable they are all interesting in their own ways. The demons are also very interesting, combined with mysteriousness since they are barley seen or heard from, except in the opening and in another great scene where the demon possesses a young boy.
The artwork is another thing the reader gets accustomed too as they read. The characters are purposely proportioned in cartoonish ways. Harkening back to the artistic style of Daria again, the characters have simple dot eyes that can still display emotions, and have similar physical designs. So, expect for the hair and clear-cut personalities coming through from the dialogue, the characters are physically structured very similarly. Other than the absence of color, the artistic style has that Daria feel. But the aforementioned awesome possession scene is a clear case of some great artwork. The adolescent being possessed was given huge dark and demonic eyes and his slightly hunched stature completed his eerie look. But being in black-and-white is what really made this scene creepy. It did nothing either way during the school scenes, but this moment with the monsters was much more spooky in a black-and-white "Twilight Zone" color scheme.
This comic, while sometimes having artistic moments that make it feel very much like the webcomic it is, has a multitude of great moments to make up for it, each with their own little quirks that people may not understand or care for. Artistically it is not all bad, with more hit than miss moments. The always interesting characters and the storyline weave together comedy and horror well, despite the obvious lack of demonic moments. But that only gets me more anxious for the next chapter in the hope of seeing some blood spatter.
And did I mention The Adventured of Cat Prentis are free on the creators' official website? It's definitely worth a read at that price to see if you can get through the few pages and enjoy the many.
An all-around nerdette, I’m a comic book connoisseur, horror aficionado, video game addict, anime enthusiast and an aspiring novelist/comic book writer. I am the head of the comic book department and the editor-in-chief of Entertainment Fuse. I also write and edit articles for Comic Frontline. I am also an intern at Action Lab Entertainment, a comic book publisher at which I edit comic book scripts, help work on images in solicitations and help with other comic book related project. My own personal website is comicmaven.com.