Estes, Max – Coffee and Donuts

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Coffee and Donuts

 

Hey, who’s up for a heist involving cats with pants? Well, shirts too, and one of them even has a pair of glasses on. You also may be thinking that the title and that image of a cop car on the cover have an obvious correlation, but you’d be wrong! And a little too quick to go with a stereotype, frankly. Anyway, this is another review of an older (2006) graphic novel in my continuing series of “oh, that person that I really like put out a graphic novel 5+ years ago and I somehow never heard of it? Huh.” reviews. This one starts off with two cats (Dwight and Jules) who are living in a dumpster, trying to find enough food to live on. They also have a mysterious benefactor who leaves (you guessed it) coffee and donuts on their dumpster lid every morning. Life goes on for these two until they notice that the same armored truck makes the same stop near their alley on a regular basis, and there’s only one guard to the truck, so they figure that it should be easy to rob. Not that they’re bad people (um, cats), but a bag of money would do wonders for their situation. Little do they know that two professional criminals have also come to the conclusion that this armored car would be easy to rob and they’re making their own plans. Well, Dwight and Jules get there first, and their heist attempt goes disastrously wrong, as you’d probably imagine regarding a heist planned by two homeless cats. This failed attempt is seen by the criminals and another mysterious observer who isn’t revealed until later, and the rest of the books deals with those two cats trying to get out of this increasingly dangerous predicament. This is all making the book sound like a serious, tense heist thriller, when this could actually be pretty easily be categorized as a children’s book. The danger never gets too serious and the characters do cartoon character moves, like jumping safely from a roof onto an overhang several stories below. But it is still an absolute blast, and it manages to be adorable without crossing that line over into obnoxious. And those flailing cat arms! Ridiculous and mesmerizing. It’s a complete shift in tone from Max’s first book (“Hello, Again”) and it’s well worth a look, unless you have moral problems with cats wearing pants. $10

 

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