Page 45 Review by Stephen
WARNING: most certainly not suitable for kids!
Oh, I know it looks as if it should be: for a start it's a cat, secondly it's riffing off and indeed mimicking your childhood favourites where you controlled the narrative (to a certain, illusory extent) by becoming the protagonist, making her or his decision for them, and then turning backwards or forwards to the duly prescribed page. Based on your decision, the story dictates your fate
"A strange man is offering you a grape. Do you run screaming down London's dank alleys or get into the coach and become a victim in Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell's FROM HELL? If your senses are intact, turn to Page 45. If you have lost all raisin [sorry], turn to Page
look, it really doesn't matter. THE END."
Obviously the ramifications back then weren't half so severe; but the point I'm making is that these are! Like Jason Shiga's MEANWHILE, which wittily translates the prose concept into true comicbook genius (this is pure prose with spot illustrations), YOU ARE A CAT boasts few happy endings, either for the titular cat or indeed its owners. Giving this to a small child will traumatise them for life. You will also have to answer questions about what cats do when they "fuck".
You might not expect such mischief from the creator of THE HIPLESS BOY but read the same man's PEDIGREE GIRLS and it all becomes infinitely clearer. Turn to the back of the book and it becomes clearer still, for proposed further volumes include PICK A PLOT! YOU ARE DOING 20 TO LIFE; PICK A PLOT! YOU ARE COMMITTING SUICIDE; PICK A PLOT! YOU ARE A CULT LEADER and PICK A PLOT! YOU ARE A CONCENTRATION CAMP COP. We don't know how far Tija's tongue is in his cheek there - he may have absolutely no intention of producing those books - but what a great way to test demand! Also, each resume is hilarious.
The main meat itself is monumentally subversive, partly because it's delivered so dead-pan. So what are your domestic servants actually up to while you're grooming yourself, battering flies and wondering whether to square up to the tom down the road? Don't take your eye off the ball, but turn to page one and find out.
Oh, look! There's a squirrel!