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Ontology on the gone!

The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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05/23/2004 Archived Entry: "Graphic Novel Review of "Cats Don't Exist""

Cats Don't Exist
by Jis, aka Jose Ignacio Solorzano
90 pages.
Published by Fantagraphics Books.)

Reviewed by Tom Good

In "Cats Don't Exist," Mexican artist Jis offers up a hallucinatory world filled with oddities, from furry demons playing ping-pong to ten-armed mermaids. Humans turn into rats, snakes, and toads, while animals are consumed with strange thoughts and dreams of their own. Though it is hard to describe just how weird this book is, it is also quite entertaining, playful and funny. The art work alone had me laughing out loud at times, because Jis draws some of the most amusing exaggerated facial expressions I've ever seen.

Some of the pictures in "Cats Don't Exist" are so complex and strange that it takes some effort to even figure out what is going on. On one page a dog, whose leash is attached to an armless Medusa tied by the neck and waist to a tree, fires a pistol at a driver whose head protrudes through a hole in the roof of his car, and who has just crashed into a pedestrian, but this whole scene may (or may not) be the daydream of an angry tiger in a cage, who also imagines being set free in a sports car to drive after some fleeing creatures. That only describes part of one page of this book. If that sounds intriguing to you, I would highly recommend this book. (I should also mention that this is not a comic for kids, due to some graphic sexual situations and violence.)

All in all, reading "Cats Don't Exist" is like hearing a friend describe a particularly bizarre and hilarious dream, but with illustrations. If you are in the mood for something unusual, this book is great.

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