Review: Taco El Gato #1

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Here’s something you don’t see too often anymore these days, a funny animal book. Let’s smoke some catnip, and take a look.

Taco El Gato #1
Everything: Candy Briones
Published by Rosarium Publishing

Taco El Gato is a bit of a rarity these days, a funny animal book, mixed with comics that end with an ‘x’ not an ‘-ics’. It’s a first issue, so we get a bit of an introduction to the world and and Taco himself, and a bit of set-up. Taco is a cat, raised by dogs, who has a thing for lava lamps and catnip doobies. Though the doobie thing is implied rather than actually shown.

It’s sort of a classic cartoon world, almost a throwback in a way, with the cartoon logic, cat vs dog tropes, and even singing. The art is animated, not just in the classic, anthropomorphic animal sense, even the buildings have the bouncy animated feeling, not hard lines, you feel as though if this was animated, they could bounce and sway to the music of the city itself. While there are some elements that keep it just a whisker away from being all ages, for the most part, there is nothing explicit, or anything over the top.

Taco isn’t a bad guy by any stretch but he definitely seems like a bit of an outsider. I think there are some deeper things going on here than may be realized at a glance, and hopefully as the book goes on, they will be explored. The beauty of working in a world like this, is the ability to work with things like familial relationships, examinations of society, or even love or whatever else, with the classic cartoon style that allows you to say things in a way that is both light hearted and insightful. You can talk about heavy things, man, but you don’t have to harsh your mellow. Not that the book gets too heavy by any means.

I also appreciate that this book is a one-woman show, with writer/artist Candy Briones wearing all the hats involved with the book. There is a 70’s vibe throughout, which may be entirely me projecting, but you can almost pop on the War album The World Is A Ghetto, and it would be a pretty damn solid soundtrack for the book. (Really, just pop that album on anyway, that is a fantastic summertime album, do it)

It’s a fun, refreshing book, and from what I understand may go into some weirder territory. Check out the Taco El Gato website here, or Rosarium Publishing here. The book officially drops in about a month, August 3rd, according to a tweet from the publisher.
Now, where are my rolling papers? I think my cats got my stash, man.
-Kris

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